George Russell believes Mercedes has put in one of their best Fridays of the season so far after the early pace at the Mexico City Grand Prix as the team aims to win for the first time in 2022.
After missing FP1 to give outgoing Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries some more track time, Russell led the way on 2022-spec soft tires in second practice, with the Briton explaining that his W13 is “working well” and a “good.” feeling”. around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Asked about his expectations after the first day of training, Russell said: “I’d like to think it’s for sure” [a] stage [that’s] possible, at least. It’s probably one of, if not our best Friday of the year.
READ MORE: Russell leads second practice in Mexico City as Leclerc crashes
“Between the two of us [Russell and team mate Lewis Hamilton]we have 14 stages [so far this season], so we’re definitely going for that. But if you haven’t run the normal FP2, where you learn to understand the long run, successive laps of your rivals, it will be hard to know.
“We can quickly get into trouble if the temperature is a bit higher or a bit cooler and we find that we have to arrange everything on Sunday. It will certainly not be an easy Saturday and Sunday.”
2022 Mexico City GP FP2: Aboard for George Russell’s fastest lap
Hamilton, who finished the day in fourth place, echoed Russell’s sentiments as the seven-time world champion looks to be one better than second place he took last time in the United States.
“I feel good… I feel very, very good. I had a very good session overall today. I really enjoyed driving around the track. The car feels better and better the more we work on it and we understand it better,” said Hamilton.
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“At the end we had the tire test [and] it was just reconnaissance rounds, like practice, practice, practice, [so] I don’t know where we stand relative to the others because everyone is on different programs. Obviously George was on another program because he missed FP1, but I just focused on mine and that feels good.”
Asked if he expects the car to get better as the weekend progresses, Hamilton added: “I have no idea. With this car you never know. Tomorrow morning it could hit me in the face and not be happy, but I hope that’s not the case, of course we’re going to work hard tonight to see if we can etch ourselves a little further.”