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George Russell

Russell explains downside of 'more aggressive' approach than Hamilton

Despite the team qualifying in fifth and sixth for the Australian Grand Prix, George Russell admits that Mercedes are still struggling, and that he is yet to find a compromise with the car.

Russell Australia
Article
To news overview © Mercedes

George Russell has revealed that he has taken a slightly more "aggressive" set-up than Lewis Hamilton over the Australian Grand Prix weekend, but that this has come with a downside.

Mercedes have been struggling with their car experiencing frequent porpoising during the 2022 season so far, and this has continued in Melbourne, despite Hamilton and Russell managing to qualify in fifth and sixth on the grid respectively.

The issue has affected the W13 in the high-speed corners of Albert Park, and Russell admits that this makes it difficult to have confidence in the car.

"It was very similar to Turn 22 in Jeddah [at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix], where you're porpoising down the straight, and then you have to throw it into a high-speed corner," Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com, after qualifying.

"But it really compromises your entry speed, and it's tricky because we know we need to get the car low, but then you don't have the confidence to attack the corner.

"You can't do anything, so it's a compromise."

Russell explains different approach to Hamilton

In terms of adapting the car set-up to suit this feature of the circuit, Russell says that he has opted for a different approach to teammate Hamilton.

However, the younger driver is still struggling to find the correct balance.

"I think I was probably [using] a bit more of an aggressive set-up compared to Lewis, and [was] quicker in some corners, but then losing all of my lap time in that," he explained.

"We don't know what the best compromise is currently."

Russell also believes that the issues faced by others enabled Mercedes to move further up the grid than was perhaps warranted by their pace in Saturday's qualifying session.

"Realistically, P5, P6, as a result sounds about where we are," the Briton said.

"But when you truly look at it, [there was the] McLaren ahead, [Fernando] Alonso should have been ahead. [Carlos] Sainz, I don't know what happened to him but he probably would have been ahead.

"So when you look at fuel pace, we're probably more P8, P9, and then it's not a good day. We capitalised from others' mistakes, but we've got a lot of pace to find."

Also interesting:

Video: Are Mercedes playing it safe with the W13 reveal?

Mercedes showed off two different versions of the W13 during their 2022 car launch, with some key differences between the digital and physical models.

F1 2022 Australian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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