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Russell urges Mercedes to stay open-minded over car concept

Mercedes could have a difficult decision to make should the bouncing and bottoming problems inherent in their W13 machine persist. For now, George Russell says that "nothing's off the table".

George Russell has urged his Mercedes team to remain open-minded as they plan their next steps in trying to find a cure for their underperforming car. The 24-year-old is not expecting the team to bring any upgrades to the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, despite their bouncing and bottoming problems persisting last time out in Azerbaijan. Benefitting from a double-retirement for Ferrari, Russell was able to score a podium finish in Baku, with teammate Lewis Hamilton right behind him in fourth. The Silver Arrows still have plenty to do if they are to return to winning ways, however, with a drastic u-turn on their car concept not entirely out of the picture. "I think the car has been feeling okay to drive, to be honest," Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com . "The balance is good, the challenge is just the bottoming. "I think it doesn’t matter what boat you're in either, you’ve got the porpoising and you're hitting the ground. And if you don't have porpoising, you're running the car millimetres to the ground, and you're bottoming out. "I'm feeling it on the back at the moment. But nevertheless, as I said, we've got to keep on working hard to find more performance and understand what we need to do to unlock that."

Russell says nothing should be off the table

When asked whether the team are considering diverting course with their car concept mid-season, or even turning their attentions to the 2023 season early, Toto Wolff admitted in Baku that Mercedes are assessing "all possible solutions" available to them. Russell, meanwhile, says "nothing is off the table" when it comes to the lengths the team will go to get their W13 car out of no man's land. "I think we've got to stay open-minded about everything and go about things logically, analytically, and I think nothing's off the table at this stage," he explained. "Ultimately, we're just trying to deliver a car that is the fastest over a lap. I mean, the porpoising has not been that bad this weekend. We've barely had any issues, it’s just the ride and running very close to the ground to get as much performance as possible. "But as I said, at the moment, we're struggling to unlock that. I am open-minded and nothing's off the table."

Mercedes still scoring points with upgrade coming

For now, thanks to their reliability, Mercedes have continued to score a steady stream of points that have kept them within 38 points of Ferrari and 117 points of Red Bull in the Constructors' Championship. "You've got to keep on scoring," Russell stated. "This is a championship where you've got the chance to score every single race and it doesn't matter how fast your car is, if you're not scoring those points, then your tally is not going to increase. "So, as I said here, great work from everybody back at the factories to deliver a reliable car – but we can't keep on relying on others' misfortune, and we need to find more performance. And that's what everyone's trying their hardest to achieve." While Russell is not expecting upgrades in Canada, he has hinted that the team could arrive with updates for the British Grand Prix in early July. "I don't think we'll have any major updates or anything to try in Canada, but maybe for Silverstone we'll have a better idea," he said.

RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying