russell austiran gp qualifying

Russell: Much due diligence gone into 2024 Mercedes

russell austiran gp qualifying

George Russell revealed, while Mercedes’ 2023 Formula 1 car, the W14 was rushed into creation, its successor, the W15 has been designed with much due diligence.

That made the young Mercedes driver feel “more confident going into this [2023-2024 winter] break” as he added, quoted by Motorsport.com that Mercedes have been “working on the new [W15] concept for a long time and there’s been so much due diligence gone into that concept”.

“Whereas I think last year it was all a little bit rushed,” he went on. “We didn’t have all the information to hand, we may have jumped to a couple of conclusions without thoroughly going through the consequences.

“And we learned when the car hit the ground this year that we made a step forward in some regards, but it came with a lot of baggage and we hadn’t taken that into consideration.

“So, I think we’ve done a great job to truly understand what we need,” the winner of the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix maintained.

Mercedes came up with the failed “zeropod” concept as their response to the 2022 F1 aero regulations that saw the return of the ground effect concept, but the results were disastrous, the W13 from that year turning out to be a bouncing trap.

And despite Lewis Hamilton’s best efforts, Mercedes inexplicably stuck with the concept for 2023, that is until midseason when they switched to a Red Bull concept and brought back James Allison to lead the technical team replacing Mike Elliott – the one responsible for the dreaded “zeropod” concept.

Mercedes have a huge gap to close

“We’ve obviously had a further 12 months’ experience to further understand the car and what brings the performance,” Russell reflected on the past season.

“I think last year we put all our eggs in one basket and that wasn’t a basket that provided the performance we were expecting.”

The fact that the 2022 car showed some glimpse of speed, Russell winning his maiden F1 race in Brazil that year, may have deceived Mercedes that the slim sidepod design may be salvaged, but as 2023 and the W14 showed, that was not the case.

However, and while admitting the huge pace disadvantage Mercedes are suffering compared to Red Bull, Russell insists on being positive for 2024.

“The fact is we’ve got to close a huge gap,” he said. “The Red Bull dominance this year is probably the greatest – I think statistically it is the most dominant car ever, so we’ve all got a huge task on our hands.

“But I’m going into next year with an open mind. I don’t think anyone’s expecting either us, McLaren, Aston Martin or Ferrari to make that step straightaway.

“But [I’m] definitely confident we won’t fall into some of the same traps we did this [last] year,” the 25-year-old concluded.