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      Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team collect third podium of season in Barcelona

      © Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

      George Russell picked up his second podium finish of the year with a third-place result at the Spanish Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton fought back from a puncture on the opening lap to finish fifth. 

      George Russell: “Today was super tough! I’m just so proud to be standing here on the podium and bring it home for the team. The guys have worked so hard, so this result is for everyone back in Brackley and Brixworth who’ve worked tirelessly, thank you! I gave it everything I could to hold Max off, they were some enjoyable laps! With the Red Bulls in my mirrors, I was trying to get absolutely everything out of the car to keep them behind. It was very difficult last few laps, a real survival race when we knew we had the gap to manage. Thanks to all the fans out here in Barcelona – they’ve been amazing all weekend! The support for Formula 1 at the moment is in a great place, so it’s great to be here.”

      Lewis Hamilton: “I’m just really grateful that I was able to come back and grateful to the team for keeping their head down and for all the amazing work to get us to this improvement. The car felt great in the race, our pace is closer to the top guys which is amazing. I was just really unfortunate at the start to get the puncture but I didn’t give up – that’s what we do, right? It’s a lot hotter than predicted today and for everyone it’s quite tough with these cars. I had to basically drive at half throttle at the end to try and cool the car, with lots of lifting down the straight just to get fresh air into the engine to cool it down. I was so gutted to lose the place to Sainz, especially after coming from where I came from. I mean, I was 30+ seconds behind last place – that’s like no man’s land. It’s a horrible feeling being that far behind, but you just have to keep your head up, keep pushing, keep going and hoping for better. We do still have bouncing but not in the straight line, it’s through corners but no way near as bad as we had before. The guys are working really hard and I am sure we can fix that over time. If I didn’t have that issue at the beginning, who knows where we’d have been at the end. It’s good to know we have similar pace to some of the front runners.”

      © LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

      Toto Wolff: “It was a very pleasing weekend with lots of positive signs, even though I’m not yet ecstatic. We had a solid race to beat Ferrari, and with Lewis we had probably the fastest race car of all today. We need to just unpick this now, analyse the data, and try to improve step-by-step for a race win. George put up a spectacular defence to Max, the way he positioned the car was spot-on, the kind of racing we love to see and he managed the car well at the end to bring home another podium. For Lewis, misfortune on the opening lap but what a recovery drive from then on, fantastic. As a driver, its always difficult when you are 50 seconds down but we never give up, and his pace at the end was stunning, he could have raced for the win. The weekend was better than expected because I am always pessimistic about things. We’ve moved clear from the midfield, at least in Barcelona, and caught up half a second to the front runners – we were a second off and now it’s half a second. We unlocked the potential of the car by tweaking things on the stops and so today was the most valuable race for us to compare the two cars, across setups and tyres. Our understanding took a big step forward and there’s definitely more to come.”

      Andrew Shovlin: “There are positives to take from the weekend, not least a fine drive to the podium for George with some brilliant defending against the Red Bulls. Lewis didn’t have any luck, Magnussen’s move on lap 1 caused a puncture that left him nearly a minute behind the leaders and with a mountain to climb just to make the points. He drove brilliantly and out-performed our expectations to make it back to fourth only for a water leak to force him to concede the place to Sainz in order to make sure we finished. The most encouraging thing is the improvement in pace that we have seen this weekend; a lot of hard work has gone into understanding the issues and bringing parts to the track for this race. We can now see a route to develop our way out of this and back into a position where we can fight for pole and wins. We’ve got some unusual tracks coming up, starting with Monaco where we need to focus more on low-speed performance but we’ve got some parts in the pipeline that can hopefully help in that regard. After some tough months in Brackley and Brixworth, it was great to feel like we were racing again, we’re determined to be part of the battle for these championships and today has given us belief that we can do just that.”

      The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team