George Russell's Revelation: Mercedes Slowing Down, Not Competitors Speeding Up

"We just need to tap into it a bit more.”- Russell said.

by Sead Dedovic
George Russell's Revelation: Mercedes Slowing Down, Not Competitors Speeding Up
© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport

Even before the season began, it was clear that the Mercedes leaders weren't very hopeful about what lay ahead. While they didn't sound negative in what they said, there also wasn't a strong sense of positivity or excitement about the future. The start of the season immediately showed why this is so. 

The disappointing performance in Bahrain was an indication that Mercedes can hardly do great things this season. The first race was too early for a conclusion, but already the second race of this season, in Saudi Arabia, showed that Mercedes really has reason to fear this season. 

George Russell, the Mercedes driver finished the race in 6th place, while his colleague Lewis Hamilton had to settle for 9th place. The 26-year-old Briton pointed out after the end of the race that he was not satisfied with his performance, but also with the car. Although they were quite good at the qualifications, in the end, they could not provide the same.

“We're still really trying to understand this car because we have shown true performance at points over the last two weekends,” Russell said, as quoted by

“FP1, straight out of the box, we were top of the timesheets and always in the top three. FP2, P2. Then, both weekends, the pace just falling away from us."

Russell believes that their opponents did not progress and became fast, but that Mercedes regressed and became slower. Their rivals were significantly better in both races this season and managed to achieve better results. This could be a red alarm for Mercedes managers and a message that they must be much better in the next races.

“That hasn't been our competitors getting faster; that's been us getting slower. So, we need to understand why that is. But it's fine margins now.

It’s so close with ourselves, McLaren, Aston. Charles [Leclerc, Ferrari] is just a smidge ahead. We just need to tap into it a bit more.”

Hamilton talked about how the car performs differently at various speeds, and he's not happy with how it performs at high speeds compared to others. He mentioned being frustrated because it's been the same situation for three years in a row. Despite that, he believes in the team's hard work and commitment to making things better, mentioning that everyone at the factory is working really hard.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton© Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

Some believe that Hamilton already felt before the beginning of the season that this team has no potential for great things, and decided to make a surprising decision and accept Ferrari's offer. From the next season, the Briton will defend the colors of the Italian team, which obviously has much bigger ambitions in the next season. Ferrari has an interesting project, which Hamilton probably thinks has more potential for success than Mercedes. With Lewis, one cannot feel excessive disappointment in his statements. It seems as if this experienced driver expected this scenario, considering the events in the previous seasons.

George Russell isn't sure what's the main problem

George Russell, Hamilton's colleague, is not particularly sure what the main problem is with the Mercedes car. He pointed out that there are many things that can be discussed, considering the complexity of today's cars. Russell put the accent on tires, which are very difficult. However, the 26-year-old driver points out that there are many things to which he does not have an answer. Russell had ambitions to go all the way to the top this season, but already in the first two races, one could feel frustrations in his voice. Mercedes will have to do much better if they want to be a team that will fight for the top three places.

Toto Wolff, the team principal of Mercedes, is disappointed with the performance of his team. Although Wolff expected that this season could be different from the previous ones, things are the same again for Mercedes. There is no progress from race to race.

Wolff said things are not going well, and there are a lot of uncertainties. He explained that they are facing challenges, losing time in certain corners despite being fast on straight sections. The mention of going around in circles shows they feel stuck and confused, and they need to put in a big effort to figure out what's happening.

What can primarily be felt is that there is confusion in the team. It's as if the leaders of this team and the drivers don't know where certain problems are coming from. This can be an even greater cause for concern. Fans do not feel secure about the future of this team.

George Russell Mercedes