George Russell: “I feel like I could have done even more laps”


George Russell completed 209 laps across his two days of testing in Hungary - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team Junior driver George Russell was pleased with his second day of running at the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test.

Russell ended the test eighth fastest overall with a 1:19.391s and completed a total of 90 laps in today’s test at the Hungaroring.

Mercedes’ test programme mainly focused on aero testing items, mechanical systems work, race start and controls systems development as well as further testing of the Halo, the cockpit protection device for next year’s Formula 1 cars.

“I was very pleased with the test. I managed to get through the two days not so physically tired. I feel like I could have done even more laps. It’s obviously extremely tough driving the 2017 car. And there’s no rest at a circuit like this – especially in 36 degree temperature.” commented Russell.

“I was playing it safe because I knew I had two days in the car with lots of mileage planned. I wanted to do a good job for the team and tick of all of their test items. We didn’t focus on coming out on top of the timesheets. We came away from this test learning a lot. From our point of view we took everything away we needed to.”

Towards the end of the test session, Russell was forced to end his test early and stop aside of the track with an oil pressure problem.

“At the end of the day, the engineers told me I had a loss of oil pressure and had to stop the car,” said Russell. That’s all I know at this stage, we’re looking into it more at the moment.”

Russell tested the Halo cockpit protection system this morning and towards the end of the session. The nineteen-year-old GP3 Series championship leader felt visibility was fine with the protection system on.

“I had a much better view with the Halo than I expected. When the sun was coming down at the end of the day, it blocked the sun from my eyes.” said Russell.  “So I actually saw more than I would usually see when the sun is low.

“From a driver’s perspective, the visibility is completely fine. The only hindrance could potentially be seeing the start lights. Getting in and out of the car with the Halo takes a bit of experience. I struggled initially, but after a few trial runs I was fine.”