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George Russell

Russell: Mercedes 'overcompensated' in seeking fix to previous issues

George Russell feels that Mercedes must accept the where it finds itself compared to its rivals after overcompensating over the winter in a bid to solve problems from last season.

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George Russell has highlighted Mercedes must accept its current position in the pecking order, conceding the eight-time constructors' champions are currently the fourth-best team in F1.

The German marque has struggled since ground effect cars were re-introduced at the start of 2022, which put an end to its record-breaking run of constructors' titles.

Russell joined the team for the start of that regulations cycle, and missed out on the opportunity to experience the dominance enjoyed by Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas.

Whilst the 26-year-old has become a race winner during his full-time Mercedes tenure, the team has been unable to compete with Red Bull. 

"I think we have to accept, as a team, P7 [and] P8 is where we are," Russell contended to media including RacingNews365. "It's quite clear now what changes we need to make to the car to improve it.

"We had certain problems last year. The team did so much work to rectify those problems, and I think we probably overcompensated and gone too far in the extreme.

“So, I think it's no surprise we've found ourselves in this position."

'We've just gone too far in the other direction'

The Brackley team initially adopted the unique 'zero-pod' concept at the start of the regulations cycle, but dropped that philosophy mid-way through 2023 when it became evident it did not offer long-term viability.

Over the winter, it changed concept again but has regressed compared to last season, falling behind Ferrari and McLaren in the process. Russell feels the team went too far in the opposite direction when trying to counter-act the difficulties it had with the previous car.

"The problems Lewis [Hamilton] and I faced last year, was with this spiteful rear end," he explained when pressed by RacingNews365 to elaborate on the specifics of the issues faced.

"And now, suddenly, we're struggling to turn the car at the slow speed corners, and it's the front that's washing out.

"So, I think we've just gone too far in the other direction, and we need to find a halfway house from what we had last year and where we ended up right now."

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look ahead at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The trio discuss last season's cancelled race at Imola, whether McLaren's Miami pace is genuine and if Mercedes teenage sensation Andrea Kimi Antonelli will make his debut before he turns 18.

Want to watch the podcast instead of just listening? Check it out here.

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