Work to do in Jeddah for George
George will line-up in P6 for Formula One’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after a difficult Saturday in Jeddah for the team.
In the final practice session of the weekend, George started his session on the Soft compound Pirelli tyres, putting in his benchmark lap time of 1.32.720 in his first run.
George continued to improve, reducing his lap time to 1.30.252 and slotting him into P9 before returning to the pits.
As the track continued to develop, the lap times tumbled, and George was pushed down into P12.
Returning to the track, he delivered his best lap time of 1.30.983 but was unable to improve into the top 10 and he ended the session in P14.
Beginning Q1 on the Medium tyres, George set a 1.30.731 lap time on his first run to put him into P4.
An early red flag for a crash for Nicholas Latifi stopped any track action, thankfully the Canadian driver was ok.
Once the track was cleared, running resumed and George returned to the track on the Soft tyres.
The Brit was able to maintain his P4 position on the timings and safely secured a position into Q2.
In Q2, George switched back to the Medium tyres for the start of the session and quickly began his first run, setting a 1.29.618 lap time to slot into P2 before returning to the pits.
With only seven minutes remaining on the clock, George changed onto the Soft tyres as he prepared for his final quick laps.
A lengthy red flag due to a heavy crash for Mick Schumacher delayed any further running whilst the German driver was checked by the medical team and his stricken car was recovered.
With only enough time for one flying lap, George switched to the Soft tyres as he hit the track.
Putting in a 1.29.618 lap time, George maintained his P7 position but as the rest of the grid put in their final flying laps, he was pushed down into P10, narrowly getting himself into Q3.
Taking to the track for the final session, George slotted himself into P5 on his first run but was unable to hold onto the position for long.
Delivering his best lap time of the session with a 1.29.104, the Brit claimed P6 where he’ll start the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
George Russell – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team Driver
We are one team, and as a team it was not a good day. We don't have a handle on the car at the moment, it's been inconsistent and we're fighting to get it into this very small window. On our side of the garage, we managed to get it just inside that window - I don't really know why or how - and unfortunately on Lewis's side they didn't manage to. When that happens on a circuit like this on a knife-edge, you just don't have the confidence to push it to the limit. As a team, we're not here to fight for P5 / P6, we want more and we were nine tenths behind Checo today, so we've got work to do.
We know what our issue is and everyone's working day and night trying to solve it. We know there's so much lap time on the table, we just can't tap into it. We will get there, I've no doubt. But we've got to be patient. We can be grateful that we've got such a serious issue, but we are still the third fastest team and that offers so much optimism. If we are still the third fastest and we have so many issues, when we solve them, we should be in a really good spot.
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will get underway at 6pm GMT on Sunday, March 27.