George Russell on Mercedes Progress and Expectations

"I do think it’s fair to say Ferrari and McLaren have moved forward at the same rate so we need to keep on working."

by Sead Dedovic
George Russell on Mercedes Progress and Expectations
© Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

George Russell, a Mercedes driver, is optimistic about the future, expecting Mercedes to recover from a poor start and a tough previous season. Mercedes is a team that strives for progress, although they face various obstacles week by week. They refuse to let anything deter them, and optimism seems to be abundant despite all the events. 

The 26-year-old Briton is pleased with their recent performance at Imola, which is also their second-best result of the season. Russell finished 7th, with Lewis Hamilton one place ahead of him. In a media interview, George highlighted that the car is much better balanced. He believes that progress is evident, but it's necessary to put in more effort moving forward.

“The car’s definitely more balanced through the lap now. I think we have made progress when you look at the gap to Red Bull, when you look at the gap to the rest of midfield, we have moved forward."- George Russell said, as quoted by Total Motorsport.

On the other hand, Russell also warns that other teams like Ferrari and McLaren have also made progress, so they must accelerate the process, focus, and try to catch up with other teams. Upgrades could change some things, but that's not a guarantee that Mercedes will rapidly alter things. Patience and collective effort from everyone are necessary to achieve the goal.

“But I do think it’s fair to say Ferrari and McLaren have moved forward at the same rate so we need to keep on working, bringing those upgrades to the car. And the whole team are working flat out right now to bring those upgrades as quick as possible.”- Russell continued.

Russell explained the challenges of Monaco, emphasizing the numerous disruptions throughout the weekend. He highlighted the importance of finding the sweet spot due to the track's evolving nature, becoming faster with each session. 

Even with a strong Friday performance, readiness to adapt on Saturday is crucial. Russell also mentioned experiencing sudden weather changes, such as going from bright sunshine to pouring rain, which could add unpredictability to the mix.

Russell isn't the only one who has spoken about it, as many F1 drivers have also shared their opinions regarding the Monaco race. This race is challenging, carrying a lot with it, and most have trouble giving accurate predictions when it comes to this race. The question arises whether Red Bull will face another tough challenge or will they resume their domination.

After the Imola race, the 26-year-old driver reflected on the race but remained dissatisfied, believing they could have achieved a better result. Russell isn't angry about losing position to Lewis, but he still thinks they can do much better. It's difficult to draw a definitive conclusion about the team's situation, given that they show something entirely different from race to race.

"You’re never going to be happy with sixth and seventh. At the end of the day, as a team, we scored one extra point. I lost my position to Lewis, but I’m not going to sulk over losing sixth, to be honest. This is where we are right now, a little bit in no-man's land behind the Ferraris and McLarens and ahead of the midfield."-he said.

Lewis Hamilton: I was just pushing, trying to close whatever gap was up ahead of me

Lewis Hamilton admitted to giving his best in the last race, hoping to make up for the gap to others. He acknowledged that they don't have the pace like others, but he hopes things can change in the near future. Hamilton is certainly becoming a member of Ferrari from the next season, expecting to turn over a new leaf there and contend for the championship.

“I was just pushing, trying to close whatever gap was up ahead of me. We don’t have the pace of the others at the moment, but we are slowly eking closer.”- Lewis Hamilton said.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton© Clive Mason/Getty Images Sport

The Brit admitted that the main problem is the pace in the qualifications, stressing that they intend to work on it in the future. Hamilton hopes that Mercedes can at least partially fix things.

Toto Wolff explained that the slight progress witnessed in Imola was a positive sign. He emphasized the diligent efforts of the team in implementing recent updates, which resulted in performance improvements. However, Wolff stressed that other teams have also made strides forward. Despite still lagging behind the top three teams, they maintain a clear direction and have upcoming developments in the pipeline. With a more stable foundation to build upon, they are confident that with time, they can close the gap and position themselves among the leading pack.

George Russell Mercedes Ferrari