Russell sure Bottas is quicker as Finn only had 'one half-decent lap' on Friday

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George Russell is sure Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas is the real leader despite topping both practice sessions at the Sakhir Grand Prix.

The Williams driver, who is standing in for Lewis Hamilton after his positive Covid-19 test, sent Formula 1 fans into a bit of a frenzy with his performance, as he immediately stepped in and went P1 on Friday, a tenth clear of Max Verstappen.

But in analysing his day, the Briton admitted that, while it was positive, there was still many areas of improvement. 

“It was good to be honest, I’m working with the best in the business," he said via "I’m learning every lap in the car. I do think the lap times are a little bit deceiving at the moment and aren’t a true representation of the pace.

"FP2 was not a great session for me, I struggled, especially in the high-fuel and ultimately that’s going to be key on Sunday.

“Still got a lot of work to do to get comfortable in the car, comfortable in the setup, make some improvements because I think tomorrow is going to be a different story.”

Rusell also noted that, while his may have been the fastest legal lap in Practice 2, Bottas was only fractionally outside track limits on his best lap of the day.

“Just because I was quickest today, doesn’t mean that’s where I’m going to be tomorrow," he added. "Verstappen was incredibly quick in the long runs, Valtteri was quickest in P2 but he got his lap deleted, he probably only gained half a tenth in all honesty.

“I’m a good tenth and a half behind Valtteri in the low fuel, but we’ll see, we’re getting better.

”It’s going to be very tight in qualifying, in the race it’s going to be carnage. The next two days are important."

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For Bottas, the best way to describe his Friday was less than ideal, as the nuances of Sector 2 on Bahrain's Outer Circuit proved his downfall.

“Yeah for me it was quite a tricky day. In the first session, in the first run I broke the floor of the car over the kerbs in Turn 8, a big piece missing, so the rest of FP1 was a bit of a waste,” he explained via

“Practice 2 felt quite OK. I didn’t get any laps on those soft tyres, I had one half-decent lap but that got deleted with the track limits so yeah, not really the best day but at least the long runs were pretty consistent, although Red Bull on the medium tyre looks pretty quick.

“I think Red Bull looks really, really competitive, George looks quick, so still quite a bit of work to do also from my side to get it all together for quali – but it’s not bad.”

During his race sim, Bottas did appear to be struggling with the new section of track for this weekend, with a few wide moments at Turn 5 as well as his problems at Turn 8.

“Yeah it is quite harsh and then they actually put more and more track limits after the first session so it’s going to be the feature of the week and in the race that can change a lot,” he added.