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Barcelona GP Mercedes F1 Back in Contention

Russell Confident: Mercedes Poised for More Wins

26/06/2024

Mercedes F1 reclaims its top form at the Barcelona Grand Prix, signalling a strong comeback.

Since the introduction of the new front wing in Monaco, Mercedes F1 has made a clear leap forward. George Russell secured pole in Canada, and Lewis Hamilton reached his first podium of the year in Spain.

However, Toto Wolff believes Mercedes F1 still lacks three-tenths to compete for victories against Max Verstappen or Lando Norris.

The Grand Prix in Barcelona confirmed that Mercedes F1 was back at the forefront, and that Montreal’s performance was not a ‘one-shot’.

“Yes, 100%,” confirms George Russell with a smile.

“We finished the race, I don’t know how many seconds behind the winner, maybe 20 seconds [Hamilton finished 15 seconds behind Verstappen, having slowed down at the end of the race], which is still a lot. But we know that last week, we had the fastest car.”

“We won’t have the fastest car every weekend, and we really feel like we’re on a changed momentum.”

How to find the remaining three-tenths against the competition? Clearly through developments.

“And we know what we need to do to make the next big leap forward with our developments. So, we are confident.”

The current resurgence of Mercedes F1 gives George Russell especially high hopes for the future: for next season, but also for 2026 when his team could be in a strong position thanks to the Mercedes power unit.

“We are 4th in the constructors’ standings.”

“We have more wind tunnel time than all our rivals, and we know what we need to do to make these big steps forward now. So, you know, we’re all excited for the rest of the season. I’m convinced we’ll win races this year and next year. Who knows what can happen. We don’t want to get too carried away, but the pace we’ve shown (in Canada and Barcelona)… we’ve led two races in two weekends since we have the developments. I don’t think we could have expected that at the beginning of the season.”

For George Russell, however, it’s still Red Bull that has the best car – with, of course, the indefatigable Max Verstappen inside.

“He has the fastest car and if you look at his pace, he managed very well in this first stint in Barcelona.”

“He probably saved 6 tenths (sic) in the high-speed corners, and when you have that margin, you can afford to manage the tires more. Lando caught up and Max increased his pace when needed. Max is one of the best drivers of all time, but the understanding between him and the team was a bit like Lewis’s time at Mercedes. Everything falls into place, everything fits. We just have to keep the pressure on.”

Russell also calms the controversy with Hamilton

Another event happened in Barcelona: Lewis Hamilton beat George Russell for the second time this season in qualifying, by a few thousandths.

And this while Hamilton said before the event that he probably wouldn’t beat George Russell on Saturday this year… because he didn’t have the same parts as him! Lewis was still upset about not having had the new front wing before Monaco.

But this controversy is really vain, and everything is back to normal at Mercedes F1 for George Russell.

“I think it was probably comments in the heat of the moment because he knows very well that we receive the same treatment.”

“Lewis is a winner, and of course, these years have been frustrating for all of us, but especially for him. He’s used to winning every season, and it’s been three years since he’s won. As I said, it’s frustrating for him, it’s frustrating for all of us, but I’m sure that’s not what he meant.”

Barcelona GP Mercedes F1 Back in Contention

Barcelona GP: Mercedes F1 Back in Contention. Barcelona GP: Mercedes F1 Back in Contention

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