George Russell worried by Mercedes’ horror opening race of the F1 season after car kept ‘smashing into the ground’

GEORGE RUSSELL admitted he is concerned about his Mercedes “smashing into the ground” during the season opener in Bahrain.

The Brit finished fourth in his Silver Arrows debut on Sunday but was helped by both Red Bulls retiring late on.

George Russell was worried that his Mercedes was 'smashing into the ground'

George Russell was worried that his Mercedes was ‘smashing into the ground’Credit: Rex

The Brit and his team-mate Lewis Hamilton were off the pace in Bahrain

The Brit and his team-mate Lewis Hamilton were off the pace in BahrainCredit: AFP

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton finished third but was way off the pace set by Ferrari’s race winner Charles Leclerc.

And Russell, who joined from Williams this season, revealed he is worried about the performance.

The 24-year-old said: “We are quite draggy, but this bouncing and ‘porpoising’ we are experiencing down the straight will slow you down because we are smashing into the ground rather than going forwards.

“I think the lap time deficit we have is 50% on the straight and 50% in the corners.

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“It offers a glimmer of hope. We all believe we can solve the issue, but we truly just don’t know and we don’t know how long it will take, if it might be next weekend or not until after.”

Russell added: “You want a nice smooth ride and that’s definitely not what we had.

“It was affecting the tyres quite a lot because in every braking zone you are bouncing into the corner and the rears are skipping under braking because the car is so unsettled.”

Seven-time world champion Hamilton also admitted that Mercedes had ‘a lot of problems’ to address if they want to be competitive in 2022.

Russell continued: “We know if we unlock this performance it will benefit everything. It will help the tyres, help us on the brakes and we will find more grip from it.

“We really hope we can find a solution as soon as possible because we just know that will answer a lot of our issues, but it’s easier said than done.”

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