George Russell: Mercedes can sustain race-winning pace

George Russell explains why Mercedes should consistently be in contention for wins with the W15.

The road to the fight for victory has been long and painful for Mercedes. Toto Wolff’s team has suffered from a wayward development trajectory in the last two years. This can be attributed to inaccurate simulator correlation, which meant that upgrades failed to perform as intended.

However, the tide is now turning in Mercedes’ favour. George Russell was unable to convert Pole Position into victory on Sunday, but the speed of the W15 was clear to see. 

Despite relatively uninspiring results in 2024 so far, there has been growing confidence in the Brackley-based team. A series of new floor and front wing specifications were introduced to the W15 after the Chinese GP.

James Allison’s technical department worked to produce a more predictable car. The initial version of the 2024 Mercedes car, despite the theoretical downforce in the wind tunnel, was very difficult to handle.

Canadian Grand Prix, Sunday – Jiri Krenek

Russell: Mercedes not surprised by return to form

Thankfully for the German constructor, their recent changes are generating results. Speaking after the Canadian GP, George Russell explained why the team is confident in its trajectory:

“It’s no secret they’ve [Red Bull] struggled a bit with their car these last three races.

“So I think we need to see how their performance turns out in Barcelona, which is a little bit more of a conventional circuit.

“But this pace increase that we’ve seen from us this weekend, it hasn’t been a surprise to us. Because all the numbers back at the factory told us we’re going to be finding a big chunk of performance with these upgrades.

“So Barcelona is going to be interesting for everybody, but I’m confident we can be in the fight.”

Of course, it must be stressed that Mercedes are not out of the woods. A more traditional circuit like Barcelona, with warmer temperatures, could mark the return of old demons to the W15.

With that said, the prevailing feeling in recent months has been that Mercedes are now on top of their simulator headache. Considering they spent most of last year retracing their steps and reversing their ‘zeropod’ philosophy, their pace in Canada was very impressive.

The next challenge is to maintain this performance and become a regular figure at the front.

As shown by McLaren and Ferrari over the last twelve months, making significant leaps up the field is possible.


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