Russell: Monaco track will help conceal Mercedes’ weaknesses


George Russell believes that this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix might offer Mercedes a chance for a good result given how the track’s layout should mitigate its car’s relative deficiencies.

Mercedes has so far endured a challenging 2024 season, with both Russell and Lewis Hamilton struggling to crack into the top three on race day.

But unlike most circuits on the F1 calendar, Monaco is a tight and twisty low-speed proposition, a trait that could potentially help the Brackley squad’s cause this weekend according to Russell.

“We’ve known all season that we struggle to balance high-to-low speed,” he explained. “We can either get it quite competitive in low speed and we struggle at high speed or vice-versa.

“So we are hoping that with relatively consistent corner speeds at this circuit, that we should be slightly more competitive.”

Mercedes’ ongoing development programme for its W15 silver arrow has delivered incremental gains, although results hardly reflect its car’s progress.

Russell says that only sustained development will carry Mercedes forward relative to its rivals.

“The car is definitely more balanced through the lap now,” he explained.

“We were struggling a lot at the start with balancing the high to low speed corners, and I think we have made progress. When you look at the gap to Red Bull, when you look at the gap to the rest of the midfield, we have moved forward.


“But I do think it’s fair to say Ferrari and McLaren have moved forward at the same rate. So we need to keep them working, bringing those upgrades to the car.

“The whole team are working flat-out right now to bring those upgrades as quick as possible.”

Russell highlighted the importance of dealing with the imponderables that are typically thrown at teams and drivers in the Principality, be it the potentially rapid-changing weather, track evolution or circumstances.

“Monaco is so challenging, there’s so many disruptions throughout the whole weekend and you just need to find that sweet spot,” he said.

“The track’s evolving so much, it’s getting faster and faster, often up to three seconds quicker in qualifying than it is in practice one. So even if you have a good Friday you need to be ready to adapt moving into Saturday.

“We saw today, I was in the engineering meeting and it was bright blue sunshine, and I came out and it was pouring down with rain! So that could add some spice to things.”

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