George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes
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Today marks the first race in the Miami Grand Prix, which is the fifth event of this year’s Formula One World Championship. The event will be held at Miami International Autodrome, after it was granted a 10-year contract. While the original date for its launch was scheduled to be 2019, it was delayed as a result of complications with construction, leading to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to make its debut across the streets of Jeddah instead.
But the racing community will finally get its chance to watch the action in the US, though further issues have arisen in the past week after both of the race’s directors tested positive for COVID-19.
Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas will be unable to travel to the race if they do not return a negative test ahead of the event.
Among the drivers set to take to the circuit is Mercedes’ Russell, and his team mate Lewis Hamilton.
Russell reflected on the new track last year, after he was invited to a test event, describing it as “exciting to be honest”.
According to GP Fans, the 24-year-old said: “Miami is a really cool city, I think it will be an amazing weekend, as it was in Austin.
“The street-style circuit with long straights will offer some good overtaking opportunities.
“I actually managed to do some laps on a simulator that they had which was nice.”
The Kings Lynn-born racer also discussed what it was like when he first saw the track, though he “didn’t realise” he had actually been standing on where the circuit would be.
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He added: “Obviously it is still in its early stages of development but what they showed me in the plans and everything is really exciting.
“As I said, I drove in the simulator and that was a really pleasant experience. It was fast and flowing and it has some really tight corners and some really long straights which I think will offer some good overtaking opportunities.
“From a circuit that is quite defined by the limitations of its surroundings, I think they have done a really good job.”
Ahead of today’s race, Russell discussed the difficulties he and Hamilton had endured so far throughout the 2022 season with Mercedes.
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He did, however, admit to why he felt he had actually been faster than his compatriot throughout the season so far.
Russell joined Mercedes for the 2022 season, and his new team were expected to challenge for wins, something that has so far proved elusive.
Despite the issues, Russell has still managed to compete, and is currently fourth in the overall standings, above his teammate.
Russell said: “Perhaps with my struggles at Williams driving very difficult cars, maybe that has helped in some small regard.
“Q1 and Q2 for us now is massively important whereas previously for Mercedes that was a breeze, it was almost a build-up session getting ready for Q3.”
He added: “I think in terms of results, we’re definitely getting the most out of it and things have definitely fallen our way in these first four races.
“It gives me and I’m sure it gives the team confidence that when the car improves, we will be there to get even more points on the board.
“But as I said before the weekend, we can’t sustain this level of these results if we don’t improve the pace of the car.
“Lewis is going to come back incredibly strong. I have no doubt, and he is definitely going to be pushing me all the way.”
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