Despite the Mercedes AMG F1 teams’ 2022 Formula 1 challenger, the W13, rather up and down performances, current leading team driver George Russell offers a ray of hope to Mercedes fans and team mate Lewis Hamilton’s prospects this season saying the car is fast, but requires better understanding.
The Mercedes F1 car certainly is one of the most challenging cars to tame, with some of the worst porpoising compromising the car’s speed. But Russell remains bullish about the season, and explains why they can very quickly turn this around.
“Yes, we just need to try and get it unstuck,” Russell said. “I think we still don’t really understand why it’s so unpredictable. Toto often uses the word diva, but that’s an understatement, because she’s unpredictable. When the car starts to corner, it kills to drive it.”
Russell admits that the extreme porpoising has taken its toll with a lot of physical pain in his back and chest after each race. That said, the team managed to tame the issue somewhat in Miami, but Russell admits that they’re still somewhat in the dark as to why both Hamilton and himself improved their pace.
“We always knew it was a fast car. But Friday was a complete anomaly, we don’t really understand why,
“Obviously Lewis did a better job than me on Saturday, he qualified sixth, but even with the fuel and power corrections, his fastest laps were Friday’s, when all the other drivers gained over a second,
“My race pace was two tenths slower than [Charles] Leclerc on Friday, and on Sunday he was back to half a second to a second, so I don’t know. I’d like to give you an answer to be honest,
“We have the brightest engineers in the industry working day and night to try and understand, and we still don’t have a clear answer. So we have to keep analysing, and I think this weekend could prove to be one of the most important when we look back.”
“I think we deserve to be in fifth and sixth. Obviously, we didn’t do well on some tracks, especially on Saturday, which makes it difficult for Sunday. This weekend we showed the most promise, but we’re still a long way off.”
“I mean, we have a car that can be fast. You only have to look at the data from Friday and compare it to the next two days to see the differences. But it’s strange, this sport is sometimes fun, and these new cars are clearly a challenge.”