George Russell, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

Russell only has “eyes on that win” in Canada after taking pole

Formula 1

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Canadian Grand Prix pole winner George Russell says Mercedes will be able to take the fight to Max Verstappen and challenge for the race win.

Russell secured Mercedes’ first pole position of 2024 and only the second of his F1 career at the end of an enthralling qualifying session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

The Mercedes driver set an identical best lap time to Verstappen at the end of Q3, but will start from pole due to the fact he set the time first. Russell described securing pole as an “amazing” feeling.

“It feels so good,” he said. “So much hard work back at the factory has gone into this.

“We said it in Monaco, we hope this is the start of something for our season and I think it is. I missed this feeling.”

Despite Red Bull and Verstappen having won five of the first eight rounds in 2024, Russell said he was only looking at taking victory on Sunday.

“I’m excited for tomorrow,” he said. “Obviously first step done, but now we’ve got our eyes on that win.”

Mercedes introduced a heavily revised new front wing at the previous round in Monaco, the latest major upgrade to their car after the team changed their fundamental car concept for the 2024 season.

“The car’s been feeling amazing,” Russell said. “Since we bought some upgrades to Monaco, we’ve sort of really been in that fight now. So we’re going for it tomorrow.”

Russell has one taken only a single grand prix victory in his career, at Interlagos in 2022, which was also Mercedes’ last win. Asked if he believes that he could genuinely beat Verstappen for victory, Russell says he could.

“Why not? Of course,” he said. “Let’s go for it.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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4 comments on “Russell only has “eyes on that win” in Canada after taking pole”

  1. Crazy to think that in Russell’s third year at Mercedes, this is only the second weekend they’ve had clearly the fastest car.

    Still, the other time, he took the win…

    1. “clearly the fastest car” when Red Bull set an identical lap time without a tow.

      mkay.

      You’ll see in the race which car is the fastest and it isn’t Mercedes (barring rain maybe)

  2. Ok George, go for it, the Merc win is up to you.

  3. the rain in spain. lolz.

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