As he spoke to the TV cameras instantly after grabbing a front-row slot, he reckoned a tyre offset that Mercedes had locked in was a great option to have.
“We have an additional set of medium tyres tomorrow, which no one round us has,” he stated.
“So, to get to Q3 and be on the entrance row with a strategic benefit tomorrow, is an thrilling place to be.”
Each Russell and team-mate Lewis Hamilton are alone among the many Q3 runners in having the additional set of mediums (two somewhat than one), which the group dedicated to early in qualifying because it intentionally saved a set.
The selection was prompted by suspicions from Friday observe that degradation across the newly-resurfaced Marina Bay circuit could also be increased than is regular – which may flip the Singapore GP right into a two-stopper.
Ought to that be the case, then numerous groups on the entrance will face a tough selection in how they take care of the ultimate stint to the road. And it’s in these circumstances that Mercedes feels it may have earned itself a crucial benefit.
With all the opposite Q3 runners having only one set of latest mediums and one set of latest hards for the race (which is about to be the selection on the entrance for the beginning and first cease), it signifies that, if the Singapore race does go down the two-stop route, then they are going to be pressured to take used softs for the ultimate stint.
George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14
Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
And if that closing stint is kind of an extended one, which serves to push the comfortable past a distance it’s comfy to run, that would show to be key for Mercedes if it has opted for the extra sturdy mediums.
For Mercedes, having these further mediums is about opening up the technique flexibility – each when it comes to degradation and likewise security automobiles.
As Mercedes boss Toto Wolff stated: “If it is not a transparent one-stop, we now have a second choice to play.
“It is an incredible tyre for security automobile, for purple flags. So, it offers us way more choices than whenever you solely have used softs in your repertoire.”
However regardless of Mercedes’ optimism concerning the place it’s in, Pirelli motorsport chief Mario Isola isn’t so satisfied that it’s such an automated genius transfer simply but.
He has stated there was nothing from the information he has had accessible that’s but pointing to it positively being a two-stop race.
“I consider it is a one cease,” he stated. “It’s important to be sincere, as a result of whenever you lose 27-28 seconds within the pitlane, it’s tough to get better at this kind of observe.
“We consider that everyone will begin on the medium after which transfer to the laborious. Wanting on the comfortable, it’s not unusable for the race.
Mario Isola, Racing Supervisor, Pirelli Motorsport, is interviewed
Picture by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images
“However [if needed], it’s clearly higher if you happen to plan to make use of it on the finish of the race due to the lighter automobile.
“On this case, the brand new medium could be a good possibility. However I do not suppose personally that it is making an enormous distinction as a result of we will see that additionally the comfortable has fairly a very good fee of restoration with a double calm down lap.
“So, I’m not certain that becoming the medium and becoming the comfortable is basically making any distinction – except it’s proper on the finish of the race the place you may push with a lighter automobile.”
However there’s one other state of affairs that would emerge that might be very advantageous to Mercedes.
Ought to a security automobile be referred to as out after everybody has switched to hards, and it’s early sufficient within the race for it not be sure that transferring to softs will enable flat out operating to the tip, then that would show to be the right state of affairs for Mercedes.
As Isola stated, there’s a timeframe within the race the place ditching the hards and switching to the mediums might be a greater route than the softs.
“For those who plan a method with a medium/laborious, after which you’ve gotten a security automobile, you have no different possibility than becoming a comfortable,” he stated.
“However whether it is fairly early within the race, reminiscent of if it is one-third of the race to go, then right here you don’t have any different possibility than becoming a comfortable, after which it’s a must to work to make the tip.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, kicks up sparks
Picture by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
“I am undecided what number of laps the comfortable can do with a very good tempo. So, at this level, you most likely want both to remain on the laborious, and keep out, otherwise you match the comfortable however then it’s a must to handle your self rather a lot.
“That is why a second medium on this case offers you an actual benefit.”
For Russell and Hamilton, the long-run tempo of the automobile and the tyre choices do seem to place it in a very good place – however the group remains to be cautious about being positioned as favorite for the win simply but.
Wolff added: “I might by no means, after such a season as a result of we’re on the entrance row, name ourselves the favorite. We have to be humble concerning the state of affairs.
“The end result usually comes as a shock that we now have put it on P2 and P5 with one other tyre that we now have for [the race], however I feel for a win it’s a completely different story. However we’ll give it all the pieces and we’ll go full assault.”
Certainly, the ultimate verdict on if its tyre offset name was a very good one will most likely solely develop into clear within the second half of the Singapore GP.