Russell: Mercedes has ‘overcompensated’ for 2023 car’s issues


George Russell believes that Mercedes’ struggles this season are rooted in the team “overcompensating” for the challenges it encountered last season with its previous car, leading to new limitations for its current W15 design.

Saturday’s Miami Grand Prix qualifying was another challenging session for the Brackley squad, one which left Russell and teammate Lewis Hamilton just seventh and eighth in the pecking order.

While some progress has been achieved in the Mercedes camp, inherent performance inconsistency remains. Russell offered an explanation as to why the team’s struggles are so difficult to master.

“The fact is the stopwatch doesn't lie,” Russell said. “We know that probably some of the changes we've made since the end of last year perhaps overcompensated with some of the development items we did.

“We have limitations with the car now, which are a totally different limitations to what we had this time 12 months ago.

“We did so much work to solve the problems, and we've kind of gone too far in that direction. So, we know we need to improve, and we need to improve quickly.”

Russell expressed optimism that Mercedes has identified the root causes of the 2024 car's deficiencies, and now the focus is on implementing the necessary improvements through new components.

“We definitely know how to [improve],” he said. “I think when we look at the data, we understand why we're in the position we are in right now.

“Last year, when we looked at the data, we understand why we were in that same position and I think, unfortunately, we've probably overcompensated to solve the problems of last year.


“We've gone from this extreme to that extreme now, and we need to sort of rewind and find ourself sort of in a halfway house.

“But developments and upgrades take eight weeks to run to the car. You learn this problem race one or race two, and you can't just bring those upgrades to the next race.

“You’ve got to put them in the wind tunnel. Someone has got to design it. Someone's got to draw it. Someone's got to build it and then you are halfway through the season.

“So, I think that's why it's so difficult when you're on the backfoot, to just suddenly make that progress. Everybody expects it tomorrow, and we want it tomorrow, trust me, but this is the reality of F1.”

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