Russell’s current difficulties are a result of Mercedes’ “knife-edge” F1 vehicle

George Russell's recent deterioration in form is said to be the result of Mercedes' difficulties balancing its "knife-edge" 2023 Formula 1 chassis.

(Motorsports news) Russell finished fifth and again in sixth over the last three races, while teammate Lewis Hamilton earned a podium and two fourth-place finishes as Mercedes competed with McLaren and Ferrari to be the second-fastest team. Russell has stated on numerous occasions since the Austrian Grand Prix weekend at the beginning of July that “things aren’t clicking” between him and the W14.

Russell’s lack of consistency has been attributed, according to team manager Toto Wolff, to the challenge of finding a sweet spot in this year’s car. These vehicles are “on the razor’s edge,” according to Wolff, and you can easily lose your footing and lose confidence.

On the other hand, “I think there’s a big difference if you’re within that corridor of a sweet spot, although having said that, that car has no sweet spot,” and more in the zone of understanding what it will do next. The necessity of running ground-effect vehicles near to the ground in this era, according to chief technical officer Mike Elliot, makes it more difficult to maintain the proper balance throughout a lap.

Mike Elliot continued, “I think these cars are difficult to drive when they’re running close to the ground. Finding the proper balance through the corner and coping with the rigidity of the automobiles are challenging. George is an excellent driver. George will no doubt find what he requires to exit the vehicle swiftly.

The feeling in the vehicle hasn’t altered much compared to how it felt at the beginning of the season, so Russell doesn’t think the design change in Monaco has hurt him. After the redesign, he finished third in Spain for his only podium of the year. “I don’t believe so, no. Upon being questioned about if his slump had anything to do with the enhancements, he answered, “I think it’s simply in your rhythm. 

“The car feels pretty much the same as it did at the beginning of the year. There were a few minor adjustments, but none related to the updates. “Just occasionally, things simply go your way, and you have that confidence. Sometimes you just feel a little less confident, and that has a ripple effect.

After the Belgian Grand Prix, the last race before the summer break, Russell was more confident about tackling the problem in the second half of the season since he had discovered some explanations for why his most recent setup decisions hadn’t been successful.

“The first six races were really strong, the following six not so much,” I’d say. After placing sixth in Spa-Francorchamps, he said, “[We have] a few theories as to why that is. “This weekend has probably confirmed that the setup strategy we’ve been using in recent races wasn’t the best one.

Also read: Aston Martin’s F1 performance decline: A side effect of an upgrade or flexi-wing fallout?


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