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George Russell

Russell gives his take on advantage over Hamilton in Saudi Arabia

Though Mercedes' early season struggles continued in Saudi Arabia, George Russell firmly had the measure of Lewis Hamilton, finishing fifth to his teammate's 10th. The Briton has offered his thoughts on his advantage over the seven-time World Champion in Jeddah.

Russell Saudi
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George Russell believes that Lewis Hamilton's difficult Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend stemmed from the seven-time World Champion opting for a more conservative set-up.

While Russell finished fifth in Jeddah from sixth on the grid, Hamilton ended the day in 10th after having qualified a lowly 16th (though he was promoted to 15th due to the absence of Mick Schumacher), as Mercedes' early struggles with porpoising persisted.

"On Lewis' side of the garage, they probably went a bit more conservative with the set-up than we did, and that was the difference," Russell told media including RacingNews365.com.

"It's a real fine line between getting the car in the right window. There's so many factors at play when we're bouncing.

"Sometimes we change the set-up and we think it will improve, but it makes it slightly worse."

Russell believes that solving porpoising issue is key

Russell also noted how complicated it will be for Mercedes to solve the W13's porpoising issue, with so many different areas of the car having a bearing on the severity of the bouncing.

"Between the mechanical stiffness of the car, then the stiffness of the floors, the design of the floors, tyre pressures, you know, there's so many factors at play that contribute to making it better or worse," the Briton explained.

"Engine mode as well. The faster you go, the worse it gets. It makes it harder for qualifying – we turn the engines up to maximum power, go quicker down the straight, [which] causes more downforce, and more porpoising.

"We almost need to pre-empt this issue, and also in the race, when you have DRS closed, you have more downforce than you do with DRS open, and that's another factor that we need to consider.

"We're still learning and that's why we're far from optimal. If we solve the porpoising that would cure 99 per cent of our issues."

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 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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