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W13 handled “largely as expected,” says Russell

George Russell says the newly-revealed Mercedes W13 handles “largely as expected” after his first run in the car during the allowed 100km shakedown.

The new Mercedes driver drove the W13 in poor weather conditions, affected by rain and wind, and admitted that “not a lot” can be taken from today’s shakedown. However, he still said the car behaved as expected, and feels good about the future of the team.

“The car handled I would say largely as we expected, but equally with these conditions, in the wet and with the wind, there’s not a huge amount you can take with it,” he said.

“So far, we’re in a good place, and I think we’re in a good window ahead of Barcelona.”

Regarding his experience in the real-life car compared to the simulator, Russell said that “it was very much in line with what we saw in the simulator, and I will be going back and correlating this afternoon.

“But it’s going to be a constant learning process. I think we’re all going to take today with a pinch of salt and just get through the program, making sure the car runs OK, the drivers are comfortable, and we’re in the best spot possible ahead of Barcelona.”

Regarding his personal experience with the car, Russell admitted it “gave me goosebumps when the car was fired up for the first time.”

“I’ve driven it so often, so many laps in the simulator. I’ve seen so many drawings of it. I’ve had so many meetings about it, but there’s nothing like going to a racetrack.

“It almost brings me back to my roots, you know, a cold, wet, windy day at Silverstone – but here with the Mercedes F1 Team,” he concluded.

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