George Russell was ecstatic to return to testing duties for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team during the opening day of the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test on Tuesday, even though his day was compromised by a gearbox issue in the morning and the weather in the afternoon.
The current FIA Formula 2 championship leader and reigning GP3 Series champion completed forty-nine laps of the Hungaroring across the day and finished fifth fastest, but was left as a spectator at times as his mechanics worked to fix the issue with his gearbox.
Russell’s main objective on Tuesday was to carry out aero tests with the W09 Hybrid, and despite the limited running he felt there was positives to take away from the day, and he hopes to build on that when he returns to the car on Wednesday for day two of the test.
“It’s been fantastic to get back behind the wheel of the Mercedes Formula One car,” said Russell, who’s best lap of 1:19.781 was just over four seconds off the best time of the day set by Scuderia Ferrari test driver Antonio Giovinazzi. “The speed, power and downforce are just completely on another level, so as soon as I jumped in this morning I had a massive smile on my face.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t quite do as many laps as anticipated owing to some rain this afternoon and a couple of small issues this morning. Nevertheless, it’s been a really good day for me and I think the team learned some things, which is important.
“Now I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”