Norris: Russell has joined Mercedes on “one of their toughest weekends”

2020 Sakhir Grand Prix

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Lando Norris predicted Mercedes will have a smaller advantage over their rivals than usual on Bahrain’s short Outer circuit this weekend.

The McLaren driver said George Russell, who is substituting for Lewis Hamilton in the team this weekend, won’t enjoy the full scale of Mercedes’ usual advantage as a result. However he backed his long-time rival to impress on his debut with the team.

“I think he can achieve a pole,” said Norris. “I think he can achieve a win.

“If there’s any weekend maybe Mercedes have a smaller advantage than any other weekend its probably here. So he’s taken a step up into the team at probably one of the toughest weekends of the year in terms of their advantage that they probably have over the the rest of the field so it’s not going to be easy for him.

“But I know how good a driver he is, everyone else does too and of course Mercedes do as well. I’m expecting big things.”

Norris admitted he will be “maybe slightly jealous if he gets an extremely good result, like a win.

“But I’ll just be happy for him and I look forward to hopefully being able to fight him again.”

Alexander Albon, who like Norris also raced against Russell in junior categories, predicted he will “show what he can do” after swapping his Williams for a Mercedes.

“Obviously it’s exciting for the young generation, I guess. I have no doubt he’s going to do the job.”

Charles Leclerc believes “a podium at least” is possible for Russell this weekend. “But I have some hope of a win. It’s very optimistic but I know he’s very good. I would bet on a win.”

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2020 Sakhir Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Norris: Russell has joined Mercedes on “one of their toughest weekends””

  1. Nice to have your mates stick up for you!

    Imagine he’d have gotten that seat in Turkey though! Not sure this one will be tougher, but with the short track it will be quite important he show his skill at Quali too I guess.

  2. Back in the spring when these guys were streaming their virtual races, George was consistently at the front. (Latifi was also consistently at the back.)
    None of the drivers were at all surprised, as they have all raced each other before and know much better than spectators how good each one really is. And don’t forget, they were all using default setups in the games — and George wasn’t even gamer until the lockdown started.
    I fully expect George to on the podium with Valteri — only question is whether he’ll have top step.

  3. Leclerc is a class act. I’m looking forward to when it’s all about these guys in F1. The twitch generation make even Verstappen seem like the old boy in town.

  4. Jose Lopes da Silva
    3rd December 2020, 23:57

    “Lando Norris predicted Mercedes will have a smaller advantage over their rivals than usual on Bahrain’s short Outer circuit this weekend.”
    I’m predicting the opposite. But surely Norris knows better than me. Can’t wait!

    1. From a quali perspective at least he’s probably right that it will be tougher in this race. Shorter track = less margin for error.

      Also the Mercedes struggles in dirty air and with such a quick lap it’s likely they will spend a lot of time carving through traffic which won’t help at the few corners. Could be an interesting race there are a lot of variables in this one at least.

  5. Perez in a better team, strategy and power unit maintenance wise, should have 2 or 3 podiums more this season, and third WCC and 4 WDC in the pocket even without a team mate ….. unfortunately money don’t alway buy good team assistance

  6. This is so lovely to hear, as was the post from Vandoorne. These guys are all rivals, but top hear how happy everyone is for Russel to be having a chance in a top car is really heartwarming. Kudos to them all!

  7. McLaren-Racing Point: Norris insults Stroll, resulting in a big fist fight. Both get sent off. Ends in a draw.
    Racing Point-McLaren: Stroll misses a penalty, Norris taunts him. Later on, Perez scores the winning goal in the 90th minute and then celebrates in front of Norris as an act of revenge.

  8. Racing Point 4-0 Red Bull: Stroll, Pérez and Hülkenberg constantly foul Verstappen, memorable!
    Racing Point 2-1 McLaren: Pérez celebrates in front of Norris, also memorable!

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