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George Russell

Russell plays down latest Mercedes comeback hope

Mercedes has endured a challenging two seasons in Formula 1, slipping back in the pecking order following the introduction of new technical regulations.

Russell Miami
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell has downplayed Mercedes' potential to turn its form around in the near future following a difficult start to the 2024 Formula 1 season.

Mercedes has not claimed a podium result during the opening six rounds of the campaign, with Russell scoring a season-best fifth at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Brackley-based squad has fallen down the F1 pecking order since the introduction of new technical regulations in 2022.

With just one victory coming Mercedes' way in the last 50 races, Russell issued a rally call to the team as it pursues a recovery up the order.

“I think we have to manage our expectations and not lose our spirits because this is the race car that we have,” he told media including RacingNews365

“We’re not suddenly going to arrive at the next race and be fighting for pole position.

“As hard as we work, as much as we would love for that to happen right now, we are the fourth quickest team on a Saturday afternoon and, you know, in the midst of a third quickest team on a Sunday afternoon. 

“That’s the reality, and we need to build from it.”

No time frame

Mercedes introduced upgrades at the Miami Grand Prix last time out and is expected to fit more parts to the W15 at Imola next weekend.

The German manufacturer is hopeful upcoming circuits, including Barcelona where it performed strongly last year, will play into its hands.

However, Russell was coy over placing a timeframe on unlocking the potential of the car.

“I wouldn’t be able to give you a time frame, to be honest, but it’s positive that we see why we are struggling as opposed to [being lost],” he said.

“I don’t think we’re lost.

“We know we’ve got a problem with the car, and we know a clear direction that we need to go.”

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