Russell: Adapting to Mercedes easier than Abu Dhabi Williams return

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George Russell admits making the one-off jump to Mercedes was much easier than then returning back to Williams a week later.

Replacing Lewis Hamilton for the Sakhir Grand Prix, the Briton was immediately on the pace of Valtteri Bottas, and of course we all know what happened in the race, as Russell led from Turn 1, only to be denied victory after a tyre mix-up at a reactionary pit-stop under the Safety Car.

Hamilton's recovery in time for Abu Dhabi meant Russell was bumped back to his full-time seat at Williams for the season finale, where he would qualify 18th and finish 15th on the Sunday.

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And asked which transition was more challenging, the 22-year-old's answer was pretty easy.

"It was actually harder jumping back to the Williams because the Mercedes car is so good," he explained.

"It's what every driver wants from a race car what the Mercedes gives you, and you feel it. The driver is in control of the Mercedes, whereas sometimes it's almost like our car is controlling the driver.

"We have to react to it, whereas in the Mercedes you are the one controlling it. So I think it's only natural when you've got a great car underneath you, it's a true joy to drive. And maybe that's why I probably got up to speed with it relatively quickly."

Russell's performance for Mercedes in Bahrain led to calls for the Briton to be promoted full-time to the Brackley-based team as soon as possible.

However, with Bottas already signed and Hamilton unlikely to retire any time soon, that wait will go on for another 12 months at least.