Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton have returned to the wheel of F1 machinery this week, racking up laps at Paul Ricard in France as part of a Pirelli tyre test.

    Russell and Hamilton are gearing up for their second season as team mates, with the Silver Arrows looking to bounce back from a challenging 2022 campaign that signalled an end to their impressive title-winning run.

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    On Wednesday, Mercedes shared photos on social media of Russell hitting the track at the former French Grand Prix venue in last year’s W13 machine, adding that they have “missed this”.

    The team then followed up with shots of Hamilton doing the same on Thursday – the seven-time world champion also seen to be catching up with mechanics in the garage.

    Both drivers are set for some more running in the W13 at Spanish venue Jerez next week, with two days of running planned from February 7-8.

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    Mercedes will launch their 2023 challenger, the W14, at Silverstone on February 15, before all F1 teams head to Bahrain for pre-season testing from February 23-25.