George Russel finished his Saturday at the Miami Grand Prix with a qualifying result that didn't match the pace that he showed during FP2 on the Friday where he led the timesheet. Obviously disappointed with the performance of the Mercedes W13, he admitted that it felt like a "different beast" when compared to the day before as the team had continued to "experiment" with the car's setup.
Teammate Lewis Hamilton wasn't so unlucky as he bagged 6th place on the grid for Sunday's race, whereas Russell wasn't able to pass into Q3. He'll be starting 12th behind a Ferrari 1-2 lockout and a wall of Red Bull sitting at third and fourth. Ex-Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas will sit fifth with a big smile on his face.
"The car was bouncing a lot more today and I just couldn't attack any of the corners as a result," Russell told the press.
"It's a shame because we showed good potential yesterday but it massively went away from us today. We thought we went pretty conservative with set-up in qualifying to avoid the porpoising we experienced in FP3 but it seemed just as bad.
"The bouncing was going through all the corners, particularly turns 4 and 5, and you just couldn't attack into the braking zone. When you get the car in the window, it's fast and yesterday we looked to be fighting for pole but today is our worst qualifying of the year so it's difficult to make sense of."
He later told The Race, via Grand Tour Nation, that the car felt like a "different beast":
“It’s definitely a surprise, but after driving the car and experiencing how it felt it’s no surprise.
“Today it felt like a totally different beast. We had loads of ‘porpoising’ today. We don’t understand why, and ultimately that was the difficulty.
“It was the first time I’ve ever felt it all the way through a corner. Through Turn 4 and Turn 5 it was just bouncing through it all, and then into all of the braking zones.
“It’s a shame because I was slower today than I was yesterday and everyone else has gone a second quicker.
“It’s just like the rear of the car is hopping around and you just don’t have any support or stability in the rear.
“Yesterday we were flying through sector one and had so much confidence in the car. It was a totally different beast today.”
Talking to Sky F1, he further put down the car, admitting that he wasn't sure why it wasn't performing as well as his practice sessions showed us.
“We are a bit confused, to be honest. It’s a real shame because I think there was potential in there and we saw yesterday we were really quick, and it’s just massively gone away from us today and don’t really know why.
“It’s not really making a lot of sense at the moment. When we get in the window it’s fast, but just a bit disappointed with myself and for the team.
“Yesterday we were looking like we were in the fight for pole, then today we qualified P12 which is the worst qualifying of the year.
“It doesn’t really make a lot of sense and it’s sort of flip-flopping massively, the performance.”