While Mercedes were unable to match the Red Bull of Max Verstappen as well as the McLaren and Ferrari cars up ahead, Russell believes that the team have taken steps forward despite extra work still being needed.

“To be honest, I think ourselves, Ferrari and McLaren have closed the gap on Red Bull and pulled away from the midfield,” the Briton said. “So we are making progress, it’s just that our two direct rivals have made equal progress.

HIGHLIGHTS: Relive the action from the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix as Verstappen wins in nail-biting finish

“We just need to keep on chipping away, the team are working really hard to bring performance and that’s all we can do for the time being.”

Despite Russell suggesting that the race had been a lonely one for the team, Hamilton took a different view on this. He did, however, agree that the Silver Arrows are continuing to cut into their rivals’ advantage.

On whether he felt that he was in ‘no man’s land’ in the Grand Prix, Hamilton answered: “No, I had George ahead of me at the beginning. I could see people and I was chasing, so I didn’t really feel like I was alone.


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