George Russell needs to learn more at Mercedes despite strong start to season – Hulkenberg

Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?

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George Russell still has lots to learn as a Mercedes rookie despite his strong start to the season, according to Nico Hulkenberg. The Aston Martin reserve driver claimed Russell had to follow ‘different rules’ when he was at the front of the field compared to the back.

He stressed the former Williams driver will still have to ‘relearn’ and ‘readjust’ during the opening part of the season.

Speaking to Express Sport, he said: “Of course, it’s a new environment. As a young driver you have to get used to, there’s different kinds of rules at the back, the midfield and then at the front. It’s different rhythms, qualifying but also the races.

“You have to relearn, readjust.” However, the German praised Russell’s strong start to the season, admitting he had probably taken the maximum results available for the team so far.

He told Express Sport: “George is doing a very good job at the moment. I think he didn’t do a mistake or an obvious one so far this year. He has pretty much taken off the table what was possible so I think he seems in a happy and a good place.”

Russell lies fourth in the Drivers’ Standings after securing four successive top-five finishes. Meanwhile, team-mate Hamilton has struggled for performance with 10th in Saudi Arabia and 13th in Imola.

The poor form has left the Briton seventh in the Drivers’ Championship and more than 50 points behind current pace-setter Charles Leclerc. Former F1 star Ralf Schumacher has recently claimed Hamilton had to accept Russell was the better driver at this stage of the season.

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However, despite his good start to the season, Russell has refused to admit he has outperformed Hamilton. Speaking at the Miami Grand Prix, he said: “Yeah definitely not outperformed.

“In racing, a lot of things have to sort of go your way and I think we’ve been on a par this year but things have just gone my way a little bit more than they have for him. As a team, we are in a slightly different position than we are used to being. That one-tenth can make or break the weekend.”

Mercedes are expecting to introduce some minor new upgrades for Miami this weekend. The Silver Arrows have also suggested that a bigger updated package will be installed for the Spanish Grand Prix at the end of May.

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