Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are putting on a united front as Mercedes battle to overcome their difficult start to the season.
The two British drivers are in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Grand Prix this Sunday, the first time the venue has staged an F1 race since 2019 due to the effects of Covid-19.
And the Silver Arrows are in desperate need of a strong showing after their struggles in the Middle East. Hamilton and Russell did capitalise on Red Bull’s late problems to finish third and fourth respectively in Bahrain,
but there was a shock in Saudi Arabia a week later when the seven-time world champion exited qualifying in Q1. He did eventually finish 10th in the race, with Russell fifth.
It remains to be seen whether the reigning constructors’ champions can sort their issues with their W13 cars by this weekend.
Regardless, the vast gaps in pace between them and Ferrari and Red Bull thus far are unlikely to have been reduced to the point where Toto Wolff’s team are competing to win Down Under.
Wolff himself has thus far labelled the performances “totally unacceptable,” with the team clearly struggling to get to the grips in this new F1 era. New regulations have come into the sport meaning major adaptations have had to be made on all cars.
When Russell, 24, joined from Williams at the end of last season many F1 pundits envisaged problems between him and Hamilton, 37.
The youngster made it clear he wasn’t joining Mercedes to settle for being the number two driver. He replaced Valtteri Bottas,
who had partnered Hamilton for five seasons following the sudden departure of Nico Rosberg. Despite partnering Hamilton to a constructors’ win in each of those campaigns, the Finn failed to ever mount a serious title challenge of his own.
But there has been little sign of needle thus far, and judging by Hamilton’s latest Instagram post, the pair are very much united in their quest to turn things around.
He uploaded a picture to his 27.5 million followers of the two in the gym, as they shared a gym session on Wednesday morning. Hamilton is seen smiling next to a weights bench, with Russell lifting a kettle bell in the background.