George Russell inspecting the Mercedes W14 ahead of the 2023 season | Credit: Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team

Mercedes, the longest reigning champion of Formula One, has witnessed a major downfall post the atypical end of the 2021 season. Moreover, with the cost cap rule coming into force, the Silver Arrows struggled with the budget and overhauled the design of the car, which backfired pretty badly. The entire 2022 season, Mercedes struggled with bouncing and porpoising, which made the W13 seemingly undrivable for the drivers.

However, fate turned too little with the new season, as the brand-new W14 displayed no upgrade whatsoever. While the bouncing issues were sorted out considerably, the car lacked pace. The poor performance of the car remained highly visible during the initial test runs and also in the first two race weekends of the season. However, Mercedes recorded significant improvement at the Australian Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton claiming his first podium of the season. But, the upcoming Baku street race will likely bring more upgrades.


George Russell Tests New Upgrades On Simulator, Excited With The Outcome

George Russell
George Russell is interviewed. Zandvoort September 2022. Credit: Alamy

After the Australian Grand Prix, Formula One headed into a four-week break to provide teams with enough window to bring significant upgrades to the machinery. Meanwhile, Mercedes has made good use of it so far. George Russell, the team’s young driver, earlier suggested that the W14 has gained more performance in the past few weeks than it ever did during the whole off-season. Russell claimed the Silver Arrows chose the wrong strategy to head on initially. But now, the right plan remains set in motion. Moreover, ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the British national has confirmed more upgrades.

George Russell tested out the recent upgrades to W14 on a simulator run and looked quite satisfied with it. He said he remains unknown to the things being said in the media as he doesn’t read the news every day. However, Russell stays aware of the fact that the team is not yet capable of winning or even contesting for a championship. Regardless, with the fresh upgrades, the Mercedes driver feels that the W14 will show enough improvement in a few races down the line, if not during the Baku street race. Further, he refused to share any specific details. And concluded by saying the team is working hard behind the scenes and will make sure they get desired results on the W14 this season.

Russell Faces Penalty Scare Due To Power Unit Failure

George Russell
George Russell had to climb out of his stricken Mercedes car and leave it on the track (Image: Getty Images)

George Russell’s run at the Australian Grand Prix came to an abrupt. An engine failure caused a fire to the Briton’s W14, which led to early retirement. Moreover, after an investigation, Mercedes found that the damaged power unit was beyond repair. Hence, they would need to replace it with a new one for the upcoming Baku race. On top of that, other components of the engines have dealt significant damage, which might later cause additional problems.

Hence, it is highly likely that George Russell will need an additional power unit later in the season. As per F1 regulations, a team is allowed to change the power units only twice in a season. Hence, if Russell fails to comply, he could face a 10-place grid penalty in the future.