The story of Friday practice at the Miami Grand Prix had to surround George Russell in his Mercedes, with the Briton looking really quick in his W13 car – and certainly the most competitive we have seen from it so far this season.
The Mercs have been off of the pace thus far in the 2022 campaign, with Red Bull and Ferrari leading the way, but Friday in Miami appeared to offer the Mercs some hope, with Russell going second in FP1 and then fastest in FP2, whilst Lewis Hamilton also showed some decent pace too.
Indeed, it’s a sign that Mercedes might be starting to make some headway in terms of improving their car but Russell has sought to play down expectations ahead of the real business of qualifying later this evening and the Grand Prix tomorrow, after reflecting on a nevertheless positive Friday.
“Yeah, absolutely. To be honest, we don’t really understand why we hit the ground running,” he said post running on Friday.
“We always knew ahead of this weekend that the conditions should suit us better because we have struggled a lot with tyre warm-up, even in Bahrain when the track was really rough.
“But this is the first real hot race of the season so that has played a big factor. The car is working well but it is only Friday and we’re not getting too carried away.”
Mercedes have enough humility about them to not be getting excited about suddenly returning to pole and win contention this weekend, but it certainly looks as though good points could be attainable for the team this time out.
The heat in Miami is a good point that Russell makes, with 30C+ days on the forecast, and if that sticks around perhaps this will be the best weekend the Silver Arrows have had to date in 2022.