Russell slams FIA for “failing to consult”

Since become the spokesperson for the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, George Russell has been outspoken on a number o issues. It was Russell’s continual petitioning of the FIA over the drivers’ health which saw the sport’s governing body spring into action over the porpoising last season.

As it turns out, the regulation changes subsequently introduced have made it more difficult of this years cars to follow closely and made overtaking more difficult – which is ironic given Russell’s latest beef.



Russell improves qualifying on Saturday

The Mercedes driver had a poor qualifying for the Grand Prix on Friday afternoon and missed out on Q3 because of a mistake on his final flying Q2 lap.

Russell made amends on Saturday claiming P4 on the grid for the Saturday afternoon 100km Sprint race.

When asked how the session went, George stated it was more representative of the capabilities of the car, though was not completely happy.



Mercedes exceed expectations

“Mixed feelings,” revealed Russell. 

“Firstly, very happy with the job in qualifying. P4 is exceeding our expectations. 

“So when I got back into the pit lane, I was like, ‘bugger’. I still made that mistake yesterday and showed what was probably possible, but you can’t always bring your A-game, and it was so close yesterday.”

Hamilton nobbles Russell and helps rival



Mercedes team improve car setup

Clearly the Mercedes W14 improves throughout each session as the team get to grips with the finesse of setup required.

“It’s an interesting one, we always seem to get better as qualifying progresses, we always seem to come into our own come Q3 and as the weekend progresses, so there’s something to learn there,” said Russell.

“We don’t purposefully make the car in that way, that it keeps seemingly getting better.

“We’ve got some ideas why that may be, but I’m pleased that we turned it around today.

“I improved my driving because obviously the car stays the same from yesterday. We’ll just go out and try and maximise the rest of the weekend.”



Hamilton amusingly blames Red Bulls

Russell now leads his costly more experienced team mate and seven time world champion in qualifying sessions by 4 to 1 this year though Hamilton blamed the Red Bull cars for him failing to better Russell in Sprint qualifying.

“The sessions were going really well actually. Q1 and Q2 were going well. Just my last lap… I struggled with the rear-end with the last lap and I didn’t get a tow at the end, the Red Bulls pulled too far ahead.”

However, Russell has attacked the FIA for a decision it made to shorten the DRS zone along the main straight by 100 metres when compared ton last years event.




Russell slams FIA for no consultation

The DRS was universally criticised for being ‘too powerful’ in 2022 and making overtaking too simple for the drivers and so the FIA have reacted.

Yet Russell argues the FIA should have consulted the drivers before making the change and that it is wrong they failed to “listen to us drivers for even a moment”.

“Overtaking is more difficult than it was a year ago,” he said. “The cars of this generation are developing, and as a result our job has become harder.”

“And then they cut the DRS zone without any contribution from us,” said Russell. “I’m a little disappointed that we’re being left out again.”

Hamilton appears confused by Sprint format



Races only will reveal whether DRS ok

However, as stated earlier, the only car design regulation changes for this season were instigated by the complaints made by Toto Wolff and George Russell who accused the FIA of failing in the duty of care on a safety matter.

“I’m not even sure the FIA realises that overtaking has gotten trickier. They base their decisions on historical data only.

“The reduction here is 100 meters, and some will say ‘What’s that?’ But in truth it makes a huge difference. We drivers want to be involved in the decision-making process.”

“We know what’s going on out there, we can contribute. We are all in the same boat and should be making decisions for the good of the sport.”

The real test of whether the DRS zones are well matched to this years F1 car designs will come during the racing – not qualifying – where tyre degradation will play its regular role and provide an offset that will be enhanced by DRS.

READ MORE: Teams veto rule change banning Norris form Q3

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