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George Russell

Russell rates Mercedes' chances after Imola upgrade

Mercedes are set to bring a raft of updates to the next race at Imola, but George Russell is sceptical that they will dramatically improve the performance of the W14.

Russell Baku
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell has played down speculation that Mercedes' planned upgrades for the next Grand Prix will transform the team's fortunes.

The Silver Arrows are currently locked in a battle with Aston Martin and Ferrari to be F1's second-fastest team, with Red Bull proving the class of the field at the front.

After five races of 2023, Mercedes are third in the Constructors' Championship with 96 points, six shy of Aston Martin, with the Silver Arrows having scored just one podium finish in the first five races, as Lewis Hamilton finished second in Australia.

Mercedes' update package for next weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix includes new suspension and bodywork elements. However, Team Principal Toto Wolff tempered expectations of the new parts providing a dramatic upturn in form, and Russell echoed his boss's words.

"There's a lot of expectations on Imola, but we finished 30-odd seconds behind the leaders [in Miami, and] we still finished quite a bit behind [Aston Martin's] Fernando [Alonso]," Russell told Sky F1.

"For sure, it's going to take us a step in the right direction, [but] it's not going to transform things. Let's hope it does.

"The car's a little unpredictable at the moment, so hopefully it exceeds our expectations in the next race, but it's going to be a bit of a long journey."

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Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Miami Grand Prix.

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