George Russell warns Mercedes issues could last all 2022 season

Russell finished fourth, one place behind new teammate Lewis Hamilton, at the Bahrain Grand Prix

<p>George Russell finished fourth at the Bahrain Grand Prix </p>

George Russell finished fourth at the Bahrain Grand Prix

George Russell has warned that Mercedes’ issues with their new car could last the entire Formula 1 season.

The German team were off the pace for much of preseason testing and their problems continued at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite a solid race finish.

Russell, making his Mercedes debut proper after joining the team from Williams, secured fourth place, one spot back from new teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Yet the new W13 car again appeared to lack the straight-line speed of the team’s rivals Red Bull and Ferrari, and struggled with ‘porpoising’.

While Mercedes will try and make tweaks to ensure a quick fix, Russell fears that the difficulties could persist right through the 2022 campaign.

Asked when he felt the issues might be resolved, Russell said: “We hope it will be as soon as possible. But there is no reason why it may not continue the whole year.”

The 24-year-old did find encouragement in the fact that other teams appear to have found solutions to the porpoising issue.

“It’s promising to see that other cars have had the same issue and they managed to solve it which means there is a solution there,” Russell explained. “But we are struggling to find it.

“It would have been brilliant if we solved it in testing where we had so much running, but we truly just don’t know how long it will take.

Russell had previously stood in for Hamilton at Mercedes during the 2020 season, finishing ninth on the same Sakhir Circuit that hosted 2022’s first Grand Prix.

He will hope to finish his first Saudi Arabia Grand Prix this weekend having been forced to retire at the inaugural Jeddah event after a crash in December.

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