Russell knows where Mercedes needs to improve

George Russell believes Mercedes’ struggles this year are due to them going too far and overcompensating for the problems they faced with their 2023 car.

After another difficult qualifying session at the Miami Grand Prix, as Russell and his teammate Lewis Hamilton could not be better than seventh and eighth place, it is now clear how far Merceded is off the pace.

And while they believe their W15 has made some progress, Russell notes that some of the challenges it faces are a result of going too far in solving previous problems.

Speaking to Sky about why Mercedes were stuck so far behind Red Bull, Russell said: “The fact is the stopwatch doesn’t lie.”

“We know that probably some of the changes we’ve made since the end of last year may have overcompensated for some of the development items we’ve made.”

“Now we have restrictions on the car, which are completely different restrictions to what we had this time 12 months ago.”

“We worked so hard to solve the problems, and somehow we went too far in that direction. So we know we have to improve, and quickly.”

Russell believes Mercedes understand what they did wrong with their W15 car and now it was just a case of getting new parts through the system to turn things around.

Asked if the team knows how to improve the car, Russell said: “Yes, we definitely know how.”

“I think when we look at the data, we understand why we are in the position we are now. Last year, when we looked at the data, we understand why we were in the same position and I think, unfortunately, we probably overcompensated to solve last year’s problems.”

“Now we’ve gone from this extreme to the other extreme, and we have to sort of rewind and meet halfway.”

“But development and upgrades take eight weeks to get to the box office. You learn this problem in the first or second race and you can’t just bring those upgrades to the next race.”

“You have to put them in a wind tunnel. Someone has to design it. Someone has to draw it. Someone has to build it and then you’re halfway through the season.”

“So I think that’s why it’s so hard when you’re behind, to suddenly make that progress. Everyone expects it tomorrow, and we want it tomorrow, believe me, but this is the reality of F1.”