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George Russell

Russell foresees tough task in winter: 'We try to catch up with the most dominant car ever'

The Mercedes driver is optimistic the team can catch up to Red Bull, but anticipates that it will be a tough challenge.

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George Russell expects it will be a tough task for Mercedes to catch Red Bull, but has faith the team can return to their title challenging ways in Formula 1.

Mercedes dominated the start of the hybrid era between 2014 and 2020, taking eight straight Constructors' and Drivers' titles with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

But since the regulation switch in 2022, the team elected to pursue a radical car concept which turned out to be the wrong approach.

This has caused them headaches ever since, ultimately leading to the departure of Mike Elliott as Chief Technical Officer and leading to former technical director James Allison rejoining the F1 project.

Despite recovering to second in the Constructors' Championship this year, Mercedes is still 451 points off titans Red Bull. Russell expects it will be a tough challenge to catch up and challenge for victories, after the Silver Arrows ended 2023 winless for the first time since 2011.

"I think the task for everybody is massive. We're all trying to catch up to the most dominant car in F1 history," Russell told media, including RacingNews365.

"That's no short task, and everybody's going to have to come together, really focused, really put everything into it and time will tell.

"I think we're going into this winter in a much better place than we were 12 months ago and two years ago. So we hope we're not going to stumble over anything. But as I said, time will tell."

Russell: We never really achieved the results we wanted

Comparing his 2022 season to 2023, Russell acknowledges there has been missed opportunities for the team.

"It’s been a season where we've had a lot of pace at times, but never achieved the results that I felt were deserved, or were possible. So we definitely need to try and understand why that was," said Russell.

"There's been a huge amount of missed opportunities, in many regards. It really hasn't been a smooth season. But I think when everything's flowing, when everything's working, right, luck tends to be on your side.

"But when you're on the backfoot, you tend to have bad luck. I'm not one for believing in luck. I think you make your own luck. So we just need to be faster. And Lady Luck will be with us."

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