Russell :We’ll know how we compare to the other teams next weekend

George Russell says Mercedes’ W15 is nicer to drive than the 2023 car after clocking solid mileage during the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain, but he won’t know for sure until next weekend .

When presenting the design for the 2024, Mercedes put an emphasis on making the car less challenging for drivers.

The focus was on improving the problematic rear end of last year’s car.

After setting seventh time on the first day of testing, Russell was positive about the initial feedback from the car.

“It was great to drive the W15 today,” said Russell. “From putting [the car] on the track, it felt like we had a good foundation to start with. We’ve been through a lot of laps, and we’ve got a lot of data to go through tonight.”

“We ended the day in a pretty good place, and we can build from here over the next two days.”

“We will be focused on maximizing mileage for learning, not chasing the car’s optimal target. Overall, the W15 is more enjoyable to drive than last year’s car.

“We know it’s not about feeling, it’s about speed. However, today was about learning, not chasing performance,” he explains.

“We are focused on ourselves in this test, and we will only see next weekend how we compare to others. It was a positive first day and I’m looking forward to getting back in the car on Friday,” he added.