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George Russell

Russell: Mercedes was 'tripping over' itself during W14 problems

The Briton explains how the team struggled to understand the problems it faced with its car concept, as it looks to close the gap to Red Bull in 2024.

Hamilton Russell 2022
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell conceded that Mercedes has been "tripping over" itself during its problems with the W14.

The team has endured a difficult last two years with just one win at the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix, with last season their first winless year since 2011.

Much of their problems stemmed from their design direction early on when the new ground effect regulations came into effect in 2022, with the W13 suffering the most from the porpoising effect.

This was fixed with the W14, but the car's instability a high speed coupled with setup issues still plagued the team. Russell believes they have understood the problems with the W15, as they look to mount a title challenge with Red Bull.

"The last two years have been challenging for the team, off the back of eight championships and finishing third and 2022 was a bit of a surprise," said Russell.

"Not just the result, but the challenges we faced. We didn't understand the car. The problems we were tripping over took a lot of time to understand and resolve.

"I feel like those two years we've we've learned so much as a team, we've developed our tools. We've got much better correlation from our simulations and wind tunnel to the real track, which is vital for the years to come."

Russell hopes to close on Red Bull after 'reality' hit in 2023

Mercedes finished second in the Constructors' Championship by three points off Ferrari despite not winning a race in 2023.

While it might not be considering a bad year, Russell noted how the team was too far behind Red Bull.

"Ultimately, if you look back on the last 10 years for the team, eight championships and then the bad years were P3 and P2," said Russell.

"So it just goes to show the expectations we hold ourselves by. The result on paper wasn't bad last year, but the reality of how far we were to take the Red Bull was too far.

"We know we've got a lot a lot of closing up to do. I'm confident this car is going to be a step in the right direction. But now we just have to continue working and continue pushing."

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