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Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have both singled out Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher for praise after the simulator work he did ahead of their impressive Spanish Grand Prix result.

Hamilton and Russell recorded Mercedes’ first double podium finish of the season behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Schumacher, who joined the team in a back-up role after being dropped by Haas last year, worked on the simulator after Mercedes had struggled through Friday’s practice sessions.

Both drivers said Schumacher, the son of seven-time world champion Michael, played a key role in the strong finish.

“Friday was a real struggle with the balance, it was way out of the window,” Hamilton said. “It was very hard to drive, very unpredictable. And then we did some great work overnight.

“We’ve got a great team, with Mick back in the simulator on Friday night, and he did some great work, which helped us get on the right track on Saturday.”

Hamilton’s praise was echoed by Russell, who turned in a brilliant drive from 12th on the grid to third position by the chequered flag.

“It probably felt the best it’s ever felt around Barcelona because of the cooler conditions,” he said. “Definitely this season, it is probably the best it’s felt, the most together it’s felt.

“The team’s done a really, really great job. The work that Mick and the simulator team are doing overnight, they were there well past midnight to help us with the set-up and get it in a good window for the race today.

“So, we are making strides in the right direction. We just need to make sure, especially into next year, that we hit the ground running because I think we as a team probably develop faster than anybody else.”

Mercedes’ result saw the team climb above Aston Martin into second position in the constructors’ championship.

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Hamilton, Russell hail Schumacher simulator work