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George Russell

Mercedes has removed unhealthy 'bite' from W15 - Russell

Feedback from George Russell and Lewis Hamilton has been positive on the W15 in Bahrain.

George Russell believes Mercedes has removed the "bite" from its new W15 that plagued its predecessor throughout last season.

The 2023 W14 was the first Mercedes to not win a Grand Prix since the W02 of 2011 as both Russell and team-mate Lewis Hamilton struggled all-season with rear instability and a lack of confidence in the car.

The first signs from the new W15 is that it is an improvement with Hamilton saying after Day 2 that: "we've clearly made an improvement with this year's car and it's much nicer to drive."

Russell echoed those thoughts and believes the mechanical platform of the W15 will now be enough for the aerodynamicists at Brackley to start to add performance.

Russell's improvement

"The car last year was really challenging to drive, Lewis and I had no confidence in it, and it felt like it was going to bite us every single corner as we couldn't attack the medium and high-speed corners without the rear-end snapping out," Russell explained when asked by RacingNews365 why he felt the W15 was an improvement.

"I feel like we've made a good step in terms of consistency of the car, we can lean on it better than we have been able to in the past.

"It was a huge focus throughout the year, we saw many flaws in the W14, which the team has done a really great job to rectify.

"We've now got a car mechanically where the aero guys can go and focus on just building downforce, whereas in the past, whatever we did aerodynamically, there were underlying issues with the race car that took a while to understand.

"[I'd like] more downforce, when the car is nice to drive and it is not far off the pace, you just need to find downforce in the right places.

"But as Fernando [Alonso] said, with this iteration of regulations, there's definitely a sweet spot for all the teams.

"You want the car as low as possible, but you can't go too low in case you are bottoming out or bouncing, which is still there in the background for some teams.

"It doesn't take a lot to find that sweet-spot and find a lot of performance, and hopefully Red Bull is already in that sweet-spot and we can close that gap, but it's going to take a lot of hard work to do so."

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