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George Russell

Russell explains Mercedes 'trade off' impacting performance

The British driver has only scored one podium finish this season, coming in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Russell Zandvoort
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George Russell has detailed the "trade-offs" Mercedes is making with its W14 Formula 1 car and how performance is impacted as a result.

The W14 has proved a tricky car for Mercedes, with the team originally sticking to the zero sidepod approach, before abandoning it at the Monaco Grand Prix for a more conventional approach.

It has performed better on high-downforce circuits, with the team's only double-podium of the year coming in the Spanish GP with Lewis Hamilton second and Russell third.

The car has been described as being tricky to get into a set-up sweet spot as Russell explained how he has been creating the balance.

Russell's trade off

"With these generations of cars, you're always looking for that best trade off," Russell told media including RacingNews365.

"Most cars, their maximum downforce [comes by running] really low to the floor. You've got to run quite stiff and aggressive, which always comes at the expense of the ride and the compliance of the car, and vice versa.

"If you want a nice soft car, that might give you a bit more drivability over the curbs, but it's going to come at the expense of downforce.

"We've just been chasing one direction, thinking that would pay off, and it hasn't been.

"There's no guarantees that we've solved it, but I think we've got a clear idea how to react.

"F1 is such a fluid sport. We went from Zandvoort, a high downforce circuit, with the three hardest compound of tyres, [to] Monza, the lowest downforce [circuit] with the three softest compounds of tyres.

"You've got to be quick to adapt and learn, and now we're just approaching things slightly differently. We've not reinvented the wheel, but I feel like we're on the right path.

"If you believe it, you can achieve it, and right now I believe it, so that's a good thing."

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