Russell was just 0.236 seconds behind Verstappen in the qualifying race at Albert Park, while his team-mate Lewis Hamilton came in third place with the Mercedes. This was a surprise result, given that Mercedes had been struggling at the start of this campaign and were 0.6 seconds slower than others during their races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Verstappen is the person most likely to win this Sunday’s race. However, after Mercedes’ good result in qualifying, they have high hopes of winning now too. Russell said in an interview that they must go for it and try for the win.
Max is going to be really fast and it might be hard to pass him on this track, so the start of the race is important. However, his car has a lot of speed, so it won’t be easy to beat him. We’ll just have to try our best during the race and take our chance if it comes. – George Russell from Mercedes-AMG.
When asked if Mercedes has a chance to win their first Australian F1 race since 2019, Hamilton mentioned that he and his team have an advantage because they had two cars while Verstappen only had one left after his teammates’ Sergio Perez got stuck in the gravel at Turn 3 during Qualifying 1.
Perez said a problem with the brakes caused his accident, which is the second time in a row that an incident stopped a Red Bull driver from doing well. Hamilton was asked about how he might race and he was unsure because he had not done any practice laps. He explained that tomorrow will be when he does those practice runs and finds out how his car compares to others.
We think that the Red Bulls will be faster than us by at least 0.25 to 0.5 seconds, but with two of us and only one of them, if we use our strategies well, we may be able to stay close behind. Let’s see what happens!
– Alonso is happy with how he did in the Formula One 1023 race, even though he wasn’t as fast as Mercedes.