George Russell has named the United States Grand Prix as the most likely race where Mercedes could break their victory duck for the year.
Sixteen races into the 2022 campaign the eight-time consecutive Constructors’ champions remain winless, although they are much closer to that elusive P1 than at the beginning of the season.
The W13 car has been a constant source of difficulties for Mercedes, who failed to master their design for the new regulations as well as Red Bull or Ferrari.
But things are getting better and either Russell or Lewis Hamilton has finished second for Mercedes in three of the last five grands prix, with at least one of the duo standing on the podium at seven of the latest eight races.
Next step is obviously a win, although Max Verstappen has created a monopoly on those with five in succession to race 116 points clear and close in on retaining the Drivers’ title.
There are six more opportunities for Mercedes to triumph – and for Hamilton to avoid going through an entire campaign without tasting success for the first time in his 16-year Formula 1 career.
Asked to name the track that offers their best opportunity, Russell told reporters: “[I’m] not too sure, there’s no stand-outs that really spring to mind.
“Singapore could be interesting, but historically it’s a circuit where Mercedes have struggled a little bit and we know at street circuits this year we haven’t fared so well.
“I’d probably say maybe Austin. I think Austin could be a circuit that suits us better, but I truly don’t know.”
P3. Thanks Monza. 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/RSTRLIOeCK
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) September 11, 2022
How will George Russell reflect on his debut season for Mercedes?
Whatever happens between now and the chequered flag falling in Abu Dhabi on November 20, Russell can afford to feel fully satisfied with what he has contributed to the Silver Arrows’ cause.
The 24-year-old Briton has compiled a remarkably consistent record of finishing in the top five at every race apart from the time he made his one significant error, crashing out of his home grand prix at the opening corner.
He is also 35 points ahead of Hamilton in the Drivers’ standings and while that is not necessarily the most accurate gauge of their respective performances over the season, with the seven-time former World Champion having had his share of bad luck in the earlier part of the campaign, it is still a valuable feather in Russell’s cap.
The next step for him is to supplement that consistency with his maiden victory and given the solid progress both Russell and Mercedes are making, we would certainly not bet against it happening before the end of 2022 – be it at Austin or elsewhere.