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George Russell

Russell earns Spa 'validation' over Mercedes 'coincidence'

The Briton finished the first-half of the 2023 season with a tricky weekend with sixth at Spa-Francorchamps.

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George Russell believes that the Belgian Grand Prix weekend was "validation" that Mercedes has taken the wrong path on car set-up.

Russell has struggled to match teammate Lewis Hamilton since the huge Monaco upgrades were applied to the W14, with Russell only finishing ahead once, in Austria when Hamilton was penalised for exceeding track limits.

While the seven-time champion has four podiums to his name this season, Russell only has a single third place in Spain and is 49 points behind heading into the summer break.

At Spa, Russell endured a tricky time, struggling to find balance with the car, although he did recover to take sixth place after an improved Sunday, feeling he received answers to questions across the weekend.

Russell's coincidence

"This weekend validated the direction we've taken the set-up in recent races hasn't been the right one," Russell told media including RacingNews365.

"We still suffer with a huge amount of bouncing as a number of teams did, but maybe not as severe as we did, and it is a shame to see that in the sport, that at the pinnacle, the majority of teams are still struggling with bouncing.

"I felt like I had zero rhythm over the weekend, and [couldn't] get the chance to get into the window.

"Qualifying was my strength at the start of the season, I felt super comfortable, but recently I've been off the pace.

"I've been off the pace in Qualifying, but really strong in the races. It's just not really added up.

"There's definitely been a trend in the direction we've taken since the upgrade, it is not necessarily to do with the update, but it's just been a general trend.

"We've done it for all the right reasons, but it seems a little bit too coincidental now that this direction we've taken has not been working for me."

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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