George Russell says the Formula 1 tracks that have been present in the early stages of the calendar in recent years make for a challenging start for rookie drivers.

Bahrain has opened the F1 season since 2021 and this year, it was followed by a series of street circuits including Jeddah, Baku and Monaco.

However, F1 is now moving on to a series of permanent-style circuits with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring taking place next weekend.

Russell says that the switch-up in track style will be welcomed across the grid while highlighting the challenge the circuits have posed rookies so far.

“It’s a very challenging start to the season for teams to understand the cars, for rookies coming into the championship,” Russell said. 

“I think it’s also why, I thought it was quite harsh on a driver like Mick [Schumacher] for example, an experienced driver but first year in F1, it’s not an easy start to the season with the circuits that are on the calendar. 

“Definitely looking forward to more normal tracks. That’s the excitement that this sport is. If it’s straightforward for everybody, nobody is going to be able to take a competitive advantage. 

“So you need these challenges for the best drivers to come out on top, the best teams, the best engineers to come out on top. And if it’s too easy for everybody, you’re not going to get those differences.”

Russell expecting Mercedes to be strong at Silverstone

Following the event in Austria, Silverstone will host the British Grand Prix where Mercedes is expected to unveil another major upgrade.

The Brackley-based squad has been making strides forward after a difficult start to the 2023 campaign.

Having shown strong promise in Barcelona a handful of weeks ago, Russell is confident that Mercedes will once again be on form in Silverstone.

“Yeah I think if you’re strong in Barcelona there’s a good chance you’ll be quite strong in Silverstone as well,” he said. 

“Especially with the new layout in Barcelona, there’s a lot of similar characteristics – a lot of high and medium speed corners, a little bit front limited. 

“I think we will be probably more competitive at Silverstone than perhaps we will be this weekend [in Canada] with the nature of this circuit. So I’m certainly very excited.

“I’m really excited for my home race, it’s always very special with all the fans there. I think for a driver, having your home race in the UK, I think we’re the luckiest of everybody. So I can’t wait for it.”

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