Mercedes driver George Russell is optimistic about the team’s prospects in 2024, attributing his confidence to the extensive development and due diligence that has gone into the new W15 concept, a shift from previous years where rushed decisions and a lack of thorough consideration led to disappointing performances.
‣ George Russell is confident that Mercedes has started down the right path with the developments of the W15 after learning from past mistakes.
‣ The new technical regulations in 2022 made it difficult for Mercedes to properly design the car to the new conditions, leading to a missed mark with their sidepod design.
‣ Despite initial failures, Mercedes continued with the design in 2023, but eventually decided to go in a different direction with the car’s design after continued lack of results.
‣ Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has stated that almost every component of the W15 is being changed for 2024, with changes in the chassis, weight distribution, and airflow among others.
Mercedes had a rough patch, no doubt. George Russell, however, is optimistic. He believes the team’s on the right track with the W15’s development. They’ve taken their time, learned from past blunders.
2021 was a battle. Both Mercedes and Red Bull Racing were in the same boat. No time to prep for the new season. The 2022 technical regulations threw a wrench in the works for Mercedes. Their sidepod design? A total miss.
But, they didn’t throw in the towel. They stuck with the design in 2023. The results? Not so great. The team realized a change of direction was needed.
Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team boss, recently made a bold statement. “Almost every component is being changed,” he said. He believes that’s their only shot for 2024. Changes are happening everywhere – the chassis, weight distribution, airflow.
George Russell, the Mercedes driver, is feeling good about the future. “I’m more confident going into this [2023-2024 winter] break,” he shared with Autosport.com. He feels Mercedes has been diligent with the new W15 concept. Last year felt rushed, he admits.
Russell reflects on past mistakes. “We jumped to conclusions without considering the consequences,” he says. They learned the hard way when the car hit the ground this year. Some progress was made, but it came with baggage they hadn’t anticipated.
Mercedes has learned a lot, Russell believes. They’ve had an extra 12 months to understand the car and its performance. Last year, they put all their eggs in one basket. It didn’t pan out. The Red Bull dominance this year was unprecedented. The task ahead is enormous.
“But I’m definitely confident we won’t fall into some of the same traps we did this year,” Russell concludes.