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Monaco Grand Prix 2023

Russell: Mercedes 'forgetting' about upgrades in Monaco

The unique challenges posed by the Monaco GP venue mean attention has turned away from testing the new package.

Russell Monaco
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell has conceded Mercedes is "forgetting about the upgrades" given the unique challenge posed by the Monaco street circuit.

The Silver Arrows arrived in the principality with a raft of upgrades initially targeted for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which F1 ultimately cancelled due to flooding in the Italian region.

Whilst there was no desire to delay the implementation of the package to the Spanish Grand Prix next weekend, the Monaco Grand Prix falls short of offering the opportunity to test the upgrades to their full extent, such is the uniqueness of the tight and twisting layout.

Russell struggled with set-up in first practice en route to ending the session 15th, only rising to 12th in FP2. Teammate Lewis Hamilton proved more comfortable, however, finishing third and sixth.

"Monaco is such a unique circuit, it is not really the place to be evaluating any upgrades or changes," said Russell.

"But we knew that before the weekend so we are almost forgetting about the upgrades and we will worry about that next weekend, just trying to focus on trying to improve around a really unique circuit.

"Qualifying is obviously the most important part of the weekend and it is a part of the weekend we do generally struggle, we always do better on a Sunday when we look at the last 18 months.

"So we need to try and figure out a load of stuff overnight - there are definitely some positive signs to take away from the session, it is never as easy around this place."

Despite set-up changes being made during and after FP1, Russell insisted this was not down to the radical updates that include new front suspension geometry, a new floor and new bodywork - with the 'zeropod' concept ditched.

"We made a lot of changes, things we would have done on the previous iteration of car as well so nothing unique to these new updates," he explained.

"We will work overnight to see what more we can do to try and get more out of the tyre.

"We know the base performance of the car is good and we normally overachieve on a Sunday and underachieve on a Saturday.

"So we need to try and flip those over this weekend. It is a matter of moments and it is sometimes baked into the car so I am not expecting it to be an easy day.

"We will work hard and see what we can do."

F1 2023 Monaco Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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