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Mercedes F1's Strategy to Overcome Early Struggles

Russell Confident: “Mercedes Has Ideas to Bounce Back”

21/03/2024

Amid early setbacks, George Russell’s confidence in Mercedes F1’s potential and strategic “ideas” for recovery shines a light on the team’s resolve to reverse their fortunes in the 2024 Formula 1 season.

George Russell has stated that Mercedes F1 has gathered “ideas” behind the reasons for their regression over the race weekends in the early rounds of the 2024 Formula 1 season.

Mercedes faced a challenging start to their campaign, securing 26 points in the first two rounds, marking their worst start to an F1 season since 2012.

The German marque was buoyed by the fact that their W15 had eradicated the flaws of the W14 after a promising pre-season testing period.

However, despite showing strong results during the tests in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Russell and his teammate Lewis Hamilton have been limited to relatively minor finishes so far.

Toto Wolff, the team’s principal, acknowledged that the clear performance deficit at high speed in Jeddah did not match simulator expectations.

Nonetheless, Russell was adamant that Mercedes’ decline flattered their rivals and he has now revealed that the team had some understanding of the origins of this issue.

When asked if he was still convinced that his current F1 had more potential than previous cars, Russell affirmed this Thursday in Melbourne.

“Yes, I think, it’s even certain. Just look at the potential and performance we showed during FP1 and 2 in the two races. We were really quick and performance slipped away during qualifying. We have some ideas why this might have been the case. And so, some ideas to test, especially for high-speed performance.”

“It’s also important to remember that we’ve only had three days of private testing and two races, and I think if you compare that to a football team, if they had three days of training together before their first two matches, they would still need to understand how to make the most out of each other.”

“We are starting from scratch and we know this is a much better foundation. So, it makes sense not to maximize. That’s kind of where we are at the moment. And it’s so tight between the four teams behind Red Bull, it could easily swing. But we are encouraged because everything is new for us.”

Despite struggling with the current ground-effect F1 cars, Mercedes has secured podiums in the last two seasons in Australia, and Russell even led the race 12 months ago.

The Briton is optimistic about Mercedes’ chances of contending for a top-three finish this weekend.

“I think we’ve performed well here over the last two seasons. Obviously, we qualified second and third here last year, and we were fighting for the win at one point. And we’ve learned so much from the first two races.”

“I think we are going to test a lot of things on the car tomorrow, our ideas, to better understand how to get the most out of this car.”

Russell also highlighted Aston Martin’s fluctuating fortunes last season, urging people not to judge Mercedes on its current form but rather on where it ends up.

“I think if you take Max’s Red Bull out of the equation, it’s a really exciting battle just behind.”

“But ultimately, we are not here to fight for 2nd place, we want to fight for the win. And we know it’s a mountain to climb, but it swings very, very quickly in this sport.”

“And going through our meetings this morning, seeing Aston Martin on the podium, if someone had said after the first six races last year, they would end up 5th in the championship, you wouldn’t believe it. So, I think that shows how quickly it can change.”

Mercedes F1’s Strategy to Overcome Early Struggles. Mercedes F1’s Strategy to Overcome Early Struggles

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