George Russell says that he feels for Charles Leclerc after the Monegasque driver endured a difficult Hungarian Grand Prix.
Leclerc was in a position to win the race from Budapest on Sunday, however his pace fell away when Ferrari switched him to the Hard compound during the race.
Leclerc crossed the line in sixth place after Ferrari opted to ditch the Hard tyre in the latter stages of the grand prix, putting him on the Softs.
Max Verstappen went on to take the victory, and has now extended his lead at the top of the standings to 80 points over Leclerc with nine race remaining in the 2022 season.
Speaking to Sky F1, Russell admits that he feels sorry for Leclerc after his recent run.
“Max and Red Bull are cruising,” he said. “I think Max and Charles are on a similar level at the moment.
“I really feel for Charles, he’s doing a superb job and he’s been on the receiving end of a lot of bad luck. Max and Red Bull are just absolutely solid week in, week out.
“We’ve seen for the last couple of race weekends, they just bring the car home and pick up the pieces. But there’s no doubt we’re making progress.”
Mercedes had another strong outing at the Hungaroring, with Lewis Hamilton and Russell crossing the line in second and third respectively.
Russell has hailed Mercedes’ progress since the start of the season, and is hopeful that the technical directive that will be introduced in Belgium later this month will aid the team’s push toward the front of the field.
“As a team we were finishing a minute behind the winner at the start of the season, now it’s 10 seconds in the last couple of races,” he said. “If we can continue on that path, we’ll definitely be in the hunt.
“Spa is going to be interesting, there’s a change to some of the regulations which may bring other teams toward us.
“I think we as a team have a lot of confidence in ourselves and faith that we are doing a great job and there’s no reason we can’t be in that mix.”
The problem with Ferrari, an Italian team, is that they are Italians…..only, except for the drivers. They only want Italians calling the shots, and that is there downfall. Every other team on the grid does their best to get the right people in the right position to succeed, no matter the nationality. This will be Ferrari’s legacy, Fastest car, fastest driver, worse team strategy on the grid. If they get tired of being a laughing stock in the garage area, they will make the changes they need to win a championship. Until then, Red Bull has the championship locked up for years to come. Sadly, Ferrari’s pride and ignorance will cost them both of their drivers at some point, and will only be able to sign rookies and back markers to drive, as no one with championship dreams will want to be there.