Mercedes has endured a rather challenging pre-season, with gearbox issues and handling problems. For a team that has tasted so much success and been largely unchallenged in recent years, it is a peculiar position.
As a result, many have questioned whether they will be able to defend their title this season as other teams are believed to be growing in strength.
For George Russell, however, this slump means very little. He believes Mercedes will be back firing at all cylinders soon enough.
The Williams driver, of course, has been linked with a Mercedes seat in 2022 if star driver Lewis hamilton decides to quit the sport.
“I’ve not really looked at the guys at the top, but I’ve asked them how it’s going,” Russell said.
“They are Mercedes. They are going to be fine. I am pretty confident on that.”
Whether this indeed is how things pan out will be interesting to see. The team’s main rivals Red Bull are believed to be closing the gap and are in a confident frame of mind following a good outing in Bahrain.
Russell, meanwhile, did reasonably well himself too. He drove only on Day 3 and put in the 6th quickest lap of the day. He was not too enthusiastic about his team’s prospects, but this will undoubtedly be a crucial season for him.
With Mercedes known to be following his progress, his performances this year will come under closer scrutiny. He could very well be in the running for a seat in 2022 if Hamilton decides to quit the sport.
To ensure that he is seen as a potential candidate for the seat, he should ensure that he is among the points this year.
It is worth noting that he is yet to notch a single point with Williams.
If he can ensure that he brings his qualifying form into races this year, he could very well find himself in the Mercedes soon enough.