Canadian Grand Prix poleman George Russell believes that Mercedes’ strong performance in Montreal is sustainable, with solid progress now being registered by the Brackley squad after years of “zig-zagging”.

Russell’s P1 in qualifying was a breath of fresh air for Mercedes following the team’s early struggles in the opening races of 2024.

Formula 1’s regulation overhaul in 2022 wasn’t kind to the former championship winning outfit which struggled to get a grip on the sport’s ground-effect concept.

Since the advent of the latter, Mercedes has secured just a single win in 52 races, with Russell delivering that sole in Brazil in 2022.

But the 26-year-old Briton now has a spring in his step, and pace in hand, following the team’s recent gains.

“When you have a number of years with the same regulations, you sort of hone in on that sweet spot,” Russell explained in montreal after Saturday’s qualifying.

“We’ve sort of been zig-zagging over these past couple of years and as we’ve probably entered the last six months, those zigzags have narrowed and we’ve sort of really been able to fine-tune what it is we want from the car.”

Russell said that Mercedes’ significant step forward was perhaps not unlike the breakthrough enjoyed by McLaren last year in the wake of its car’s development.

“It just goes to show that small changes can actually bring big improvements in performance,” he continued.

“We saw it with McLaren, ourselves have made a big jump as well, especially in terms of the pecking order.

“Let’s see if this performance is sustainable. But right now I don’t see any reason why not. We think we’ve got more to come.”

©Mercedes

While confident of seeing Mercedes uphold its form, Russell admits that the upcoming rounds will offer a more solid validation of the team’s improvements.

“I think every lap we’ve done this weekend the car’s been feeling good,” he said.

“We were talking yesterday, why do we think we were so competitive on FP1, FP2, and obviously on FP3, really fast as well. So we need to see in the next races if that continues.

“But obviously last week in Monaco, we were a tenth from the front row. Here, on pole. And this is the first two races we’ve had with the upgrades.

“So, time will tell. We [don’t want to] get carried away with ourselves but it’s looking good so far.”

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