George Russell (Mercedes)

Arnab Bose

George Russell Not Ready To Sacrifice Like Lewis Hamilton? Mercedes Unable To Get The Physics Right

Mercedes was so looking forward to having a great season with their new W14 car. After they lost their grip on the title in 2021, things have only gotten worse. The graph is only directed to a downward slope for Mercedes. The Brackley team could not win the driver’s title, but they managed to retain the constructor’s title in 2021. Albeit with the W13 car in 2022, the team lost its edge on the driver’s as well as constructor’s titles. Mercedes could not manage to get themselves up to the title contention level. The Silver Arrows managed to win a solitary race in Brazil with George Russell, the debutant for the team, on the steering wheel.

Sadly, the Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton could not win a single race in the season, which was a big shock. The seven-time champion had won the most number of races in F1 history and at least one in every season in his career before the 2022 season. The whole season Mercedes was troubled with the porpoising issue. The team engineers could not figure out the solution to the bouncing problem. At the beginning of the 2023 season, it looked like Mercedes figured out how to deal with the bouncing, but new trouble emerged in the form of the balance. The W14 car has fewer bouncing issues but a lot of balance issues.


Mercedes Is Not Happy After The Bahrain Grand Prix

Toto Wolff Mercedes
Toto Wolff Mercedes

After the opening race in Bahrain, the current champions, Red Bull, proved to be relatively superior to the rest of the teams. The winner, Max Verstappen, was 50 seconds faster than the 5th-placed Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes. Former Mercedes driver and the 2016 champion Nico Rosberg driver pointed out that if Red Bull did not ask Verstappen to slow down to protect the tires, then he could have been a minute faster than Hamilton.

It is crystal clear that Red Bull is way ahead of Mercedes and the rest with their superior RB19 car. Mercedes has a long way to catch up to their rivals. But it is going to be a comparatively long season with 24 races. So every team, especially Ferrari and Aston Martin, who does not have so much trouble with their car like Mercedes, will have ample time to beat Red Bull or at least go closer to them.

Russell Is Ready To Sacrifice Early Races For The Team

George Russell
George Russell – Mercedes

However, after looking at the condition of the W14 car, George Russell feels they may need to sacrifice the first half or more of this season to fix all the issues. According to Russell, it is better if Mercedes finds all the solutions. And gets ready to win races in the second half. Or even the next year, then leaving it for gradual progress. After the opening GP, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff mentioned the gap between W14 and RB19 has “tripled.”

Apparently, the Brackley team is not confident enough to return to title contention in 2023. Instead, it looks like a new contender has arrived in the form of Aston Martin. They may provide the biggest threat to Red Bull this season. The oldest driver in Formula One currently, Fernando Alonso, looks in good touch in his debut season for Aston Martin. He came third and had a podium finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix.