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George Russell

Why an early Mercedes problem is no longer troubling Russell

George Russell had some initial troubles when he drove for Mercedes in late 2020, but is not concerned about a repeat for 2022.

Russell Mercedes shakedown
To news overview © Mercedes

George Russell is not worried about a problem that afflicted his maiden Mercedes F1 appearance rearing its head again in 2022.

Russell made his Mercedes debut at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, standing in for the ill Lewis Hamilton for the one-off appearance.

Russell, considerably taller than Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas, struggled to fit inside the cockpit of the W11 and was particularly uncomfortable by the end of the race due to the cramped conditions.

But such issues will not arise in 2022, as Russell becomes a full-time driver with the team for 2022. He explained that the W13 has been designed with a slightly bigger cockpit to accommodate his signing.

"I think there was actually a regulation change this year as well, that there was a minimum volume for the cockpit size to get around this issue," he told media in response to a question from RacingNews365.com at the launch of the W13.

"Whether they were compromises or not, I think we knew fairly early on that I would be driving – the foundation of the car was with a bigger chassis. So you learn to adapt and get around it.

"Obviously, the smaller chassis you have, naturally, the faster you will be. But, to my understanding, we are at the limit of the regulation, as every other team is in that department.

"I fit it great. Previously it wasn't so easy, but so far so good!"

Russell confident in his driving style

As Russell steps into the Mercedes alongside Hamilton, the younger British driver expressed confidence that his driving style is similar enough to the seven-time World Champion that it will not result in any hugely varying setup approaches.

"I think we're pretty similar. Time will tell," he commented.

"When I'm asked, 'What is my driving style', I don't really know because I want to be adaptable to a situation. I wouldn't say [I'm] especially smooth but, equally, I wouldn't say [I'm] very aggressive either.

"From what I've seen, I do think we (Russell and Hamilton) have a similar way of driving, where we always try and find the limit of the tyre, but not often trying to go over the limit.

"[We're] pretty smooth in our general approach... time will tell, but I think we'll be in a very similar boat. I have no doubt that we'll be working well together."

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