George Russell has delivered an honest assessment over Mercedes’ form in 2024, warning that the team are on course for a “painful few weeks”.

Mercedes endured another underwhelming weekend at the Miami Grand Prix as Russell finished eighth, behind the RB of Yuki Tsunoda.

Lewis Hamilton fared better in the other Mercedes, finishing 18 seconds up the road of Russell in sixth, even challenging Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in the closing dozen laps.

Mercedes introduced a significant upgrade package in Miami, particularly around the floor area, to solve their ill-handling woes.

However, the team remains cut adrift of the top three – Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren – on raw performance.

Reflecting on Mercedes’ struggles, Russell conceded Mercedes are set to be fighting for P5 to P8 on-track regularly in the coming rounds.

“McLaren qualified P17 and P18 12 months ago in Miami, and they won, so it shows what is possible when you get things right,” Russell said in Miami. “But right now, we don’t have things right and need to make changes quickly.

“We do have a few things coming in the short-term but nothing in the short-term that is going to transform us into race winners.

“So it is going to be painful for a few weeks. I think we have to accept that we are the fourth fastest-team.

“The lap-times and the championship don’t lie, this is where we are and I think we’re fighting for the P5-P8 region week in, week out.”

It was a tough race for Russell, who was out-performed by teammate Hamilton for the first time this year.

Russell remains convinced something wasn’t right with his W15.

“Something just didn’t feel right, the car just had no grip, no pace and I was slower than Yuki for the whole of the last stint,” he added.

“It is swings and roundabouts for us at the moment, a good day is P5 and a bad day is P8, and it was a bad day so we finished P8.”