Speaking of what went wrong in Mercedes over the winter break, George Russell claims the team failed to capture the floor rules that FIA has changed.
Counting on the areas where the team must have gone wrong, Mercedes spent an entire season and yet could not find them exactly. From being an eight times constructor’s champion team to becoming a single-race winning team, Mercedes saw an end to its era. Now it is the domination of Red Bull. RB18 was the strongest car on the grid of 2022, and RB19 is the strongest car on the grid of 2023.
On the contrary, Mercedes, W13, and W14 remained the weakest ones. Why So? Why, even after promising a strong comeback, does Mercedes struggle to be found in the list of the top teams? George Russell explains what he thinks are the reasons for Mercedes’s downfall.
Unfortunately, the new rules that were meant to aid Mercedes in solving their porpoising issues were not adopted by the team properly. Last year, the Silver Arrows, along with several other f1 teams, faced some serious car bouncing problems. This compelled FIA to implement some relief rules. As a result, the governing body allowed all the teams to raise their car’s ground by 15mm. This was supposed to decrease the car’s downforce, which ultimately would reduce the porpoising issues of the car.
Mercedes Chose The Right Path, But Over The Winter, Something Was Lost
Clearly, the height ride was not an advantage only for Mercedes. The rest of the teams, too, got the benefit. And the worst thing that happened here is all of them used the regulations properly, while the team failed. Russell believes that Mercedes may have overlooked the changed things.
“The things that have changed during the winter, we probably haven’t captured that in the way others have,” George Russell said. In a recent interview, Russell explained the areas where Mercedes went wrong and how it can be fixed. He could not be 100% certain about anything. However, sitting here after winning the Brazilian Grand Prix, Russell can say one thing for sure the path Mercedes are on is the right path because it showed great progress last year.
The W13 indeed became a strong car after several upgrades after Austin. But some things changed over the winter break. And it is nothing but a new set of rules. The 25-year-old can sense that his team “clearly missed something” that made them divert from the right direction.
Not To Point Finger On Any particular One, George Russell Explains Why Must Have Mercedes Failed This Time Too
Recently, Russell accepted that many people thought that “these directions Mercedes relied upon were not the right ones.” By the way, they chose those directions with the best intentions and the information they collected and so it is not worth pointing fingers at.
Nevertheless, George Russell is aware of the fact that the car’s concept and the important decisions are held together by a team of 2000 people. It is not just one person who does the directing. There are six senior technical people with immense knowledge under whom the rest of the engineers work. It also includes the information coming from Lewis Hamilton and George Russell and the simulation data.
At the end of 2022, with all the data and information, Mercedes chose the right path. But just during the winter break, they missed something, and that is what they need to rectify.