George Russell says Mercedes struggles are genuine as the paddock and community, in general, downplay their claims.

It is common for teams to downplay their performances during pre-season testing, especially Mercedes. However, Russell says their concerns are real.

“I think we’re probably not as competitive as we would like, to be honest,” Russell said. “I think the Ferrari and the Red Bull are in the sort of natural position, and I think we’re just a step [behind].

“Their delta from the front to the midfield and to the back is probably correct. We’re just a little bit further behind them than we’d like. I believe the guys are going to get to the bottom of it. There is potential there, but we just need to figure a way to unlock that performance.”

The British driver admits it’s only a matter of watching the footage to realize they’re not in the best form.

“It is pretty clear where we’re limited,” Russell said. “You’ve only got to watch the videos and you see it’s bouncing around a lot and it’s not putting the car in the right window.

“The team have worked incredibly hard to try and find solutions for this. We’ve yet to find one, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be able to find one ahead of next week or later in the season. This is a long game, I do believe that performance is there somewhere, we’ve just got to find it.”

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