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George Russell

Mercedes explain reason behind Russell’s struggles

George Russell has largely been out-paced by teammate Lewis Hamilton this year

Russell Belgium wet
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes has offered an explanation as to why George Russell has struggled more inside its Formula 1 car this year.

The Briton detailed earlier this season that he was “struggling generally” with the W14 challenger and conceded that he had taken a step backwards compared to his rivals.

Although Mercedes has once again been unable to compete for victories, teammate Lewis Hamilton has largely had the measure of Russell this year.

The seven-time World Champion has scored 148 points to Russell's 99, appearing a lot more comfortable in race trim.

Russell joined Mercedes last year following three seasons at Williams and enjoyed a successful debut campaign with the Silver Arrows, taking his maiden win in Brazil.

But results haven't favoured Russell this year, with his podium coming in Spain.

'Tricky' to find balance with stiff cars

Last year, F1 introduced new technical regulations that brought the cars much closer to the ground to utilise the ground effect.

Additionally, the suspension has been stiffened, which has increased the difficulty of finding a satisfying balance through corners.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365.com, Mercedes Chief Technical Officer Mike Elliott suggested that it is these factors behind Russell's struggles.

“I think these cars are hard to drive, they're hard to drive when they're running close to the ground,” he said.

“And it's tricky to sort of find that right balance through the corner. And it's tricky to deal with the sort of stiffness of the cars.

“I'm sure George is a fantastic driver, I’m sure he can [find] what he needs to get what he needs to get out of the car fairly quickly.”

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