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George Russell Targets Ferrari in Bid for Singapore Grand Prix Victory

Marina Bay, Singapore - September 16, 2023

Mercedes driver George Russell is determined to pose a significant challenge to his rivals at Ferrari in Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix, following a stellar qualifying performance that saw him narrowly miss out on pole position to Carlos Sainz.

Russell's journey to the front of the grid was filled with suspense, as he showcased his prowess during the qualifying sessions. He finished an impressive sixth in Q1, secured the second spot behind Sainz in Q2, and then delivered a remarkable lap in Q3, ultimately placing him in the fourth position.

In a thrilling showdown, George Russell made his final attempt to steal pole position from Carlos Sainz. His effort, a blistering lap, fell just short, with a mere 0.072 seconds separating him from the Spaniard. As a result, Russell will start the Singapore Grand Prix from the front row, occupying the second position on the grid.

Reflecting on his performance, George Russell shared his thoughts after stepping out of his Mercedes W14. "It was definitely a challenging session; when you're sat in that car, it's like you're sat in the sauna just sweating it out, but you've got to keep your composure, keep your cool," Russell remarked.

He went on to praise his team's strategic decisions, noting, "But no, really, really happy with this weekend as a whole, felt really confident in the car and the team did a great job with the strategy; we were on an offset strategy compared to everybody else."

Russell highlighted a key advantage he and his team possess going into the race, saying, "So, we've got an extra set of medium tyres which nobody around us has, so to get to Q3 and to be on the front row with a strategic advantage tomorrow is an exciting place to be."

When asked about the changes to the Singapore Grand Prix circuit, George Russell acknowledged the alterations, particularly the extended straight section. Regarding potential overtaking opportunities, he stated, "I mean, the track's different this year. The tyre degradation on Friday looked pretty bad, so I think it's going to be very close between a one and a two-stop. With our mediums, we can put Ferrari in a difficult position and try and force them into an error, and get the upper hand, so that's what we're looking for."

In stark contrast to Russell's success, his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton expressed disappointment with his qualifying performance. Hamilton, who is known for his exceptional driving skills, qualified in the fifth position, missing out on the front row.

"Of course, I hoped that I could get more, but it wasn’t meant to be today," Hamilton conceded. "Obviously, the car has pace, I just couldn’t extract it today, I struggled with the balance. The guys ahead of me are quicker, so I don’t know what is possible, just see if we can have a better day somehow."

With the stage set for an intense Singapore Grand Prix, George Russell's determination to challenge the Ferrari team and Lewis Hamilton's quest for a stronger race day performance promise an exciting and unpredictable race for Formula 1 fans around the world.

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