The 2023 Formula One season has been nothing short of a major disappointment for the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team. The revolutionary zeropod concept fell flat on their face as the machinery, W14, lacked pace while facing other supplementary issues. Despite timely upgrades, the car has not been good enough to chase the flying Red Bulls.
Mercedes currently stands P2 in the constructors championship and is under immense pressure to defend the position as Ferrari and McLaren have displayed signs of life. But is the W14 good enough to keep the raging rivals at bay? Well, the team’s young driver, George Russell, has his doubts, as he recently pointed out the drawbacks of the car in a podcast.
George Russell Claims Mercedes Knows Where They Went Wrong With Car Development This Season!
Mercedes car for the 2023 Formula One season, W14, looked a beast with sleek black finesse when first revealed earlier this year. Moreover, Toto Wolff, the team principal, claimed to have fixed the previous season’s issues, such as bouncing and porpoising. However, the table turned on the track in Bahrain itself as the car looked highly unstable and lacked significant pace. As the season progressed, the Silver Arrows’ worst fears came true as they fell to the middle of the grid. While the team is still second in the constructors championship, the machinery deficit is giving them a hard time defending the position.
Amid this, George Russell recently spoke about the W14’s weaknesses. In a podcast named “Beyond The Grid,” Russell said that the overall lack of downforce, especially in the high-speed corners, is causing a pace deficit. Having said that, Mercedes is distinctly aware of the aspects where they messed up during car development last winter. “We know where we went wrong with the development and why we ended up in this position,” said Russell. Thus, the fans can expect the team to do a much better job in 2024. If rumors are to be believed, the work on W15 has already begun, and Lewis Hamilton, along with George Russell, are actively involved. The duo want their voices to be heard and are pretty clear on their feedback and the things they want the engineers to incorporate.
George Russell Optimistic About 2024 Despite Persisting Struggles!
Mercedes’ hopes of correcting the 2022 season’s mistakes crashed down before the 2023 season officially began. During the practice stint in Bahrain itself, the team understood that they had messed up big time. However, for 2024, the team has once again set high expectations. George Russell, in a recent interview with Mercedes, clarified that he is highly optimistic about the coming season.
Russell, who recently signed a two-year extension contract with Mercedes, believes that if McLaren and Aston Martin can pull off the unthinkable, even Silver Arrows can. They just have to head in the right direction with regard to car development. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have taken it upon themselves to show the team the right direction with timely positive feedback. Having said that, only time will tell how the team back in Brackley soaks up the information.