Russell Confident in Mercedes W15: No Longer a Diva

George Russell feels optimistic about the improvement in Mercedes’ new car compared to last year, acknowledging it as a better platform, though he remains cautious about its competitiveness against teams like Red Bull.

Highlights

Lewis Hamilton recognized early on that their previous car, the W14, was not a winning car, a realization that proved accurate as Mercedes did not secure a Grand Prix victory that season.

‣ With the introduction of the W15, Mercedes is hopeful for increased competitiveness, with George Russell noting it as an improvement and more pleasant to drive compared to its predecessor.

‣ Despite the improvements, Russell acknowledges the challenge of catching up to Red Bull, emphasizing the significant progress other teams have also made.

‣ The W15 is seen as a better platform for Mercedes, moving away from the problematic “diva” characteristics of the past two years’ cars, indicating a more positive outlook for the team’s performance.


A year back, in Bahrain, something clicked—or rather, didn’t—for Lewis Hamilton. The race had barely started when he sensed trouble. “This is not a winning car,” he thought. And, oh, was he spot on. Despite their efforts, his team, with the W14, snagged second in the constructors’ championship. Yet, a Grand Prix win remained elusive. Fast forward to now, and there’s a buzz around the W15. Mercedes is crossing fingers for a competitive edge.

Is 2024 the year they break the jinx? George Russell, fresh from the driver’s seat on test day, couldn’t be sure. But he dropped a hint. “Right off the bat, you know if it’s a step up. And this? It’s definitely smoother,” he shared. A quick add-on though: “A rough ride can still be a fast one. If it gets you ahead, who’s complaining?” he mused.

‘Catching up with Red Bull is a big job’

Russell found the drive “pleasurable.” “Felt good in there,” he admitted. But it’s not just about feeling good. “Every team’s upped their game. Saying we’re ready to top Red Bull? That’s a stretch. They set the bar high last year. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”

Unlike Hamilton’s experience a year prior, Russell’s take was more optimistic. “Let’s wait and see,” he said, hinting at potential. “This year’s model feels less temperamental. A solid base to build on, not the diva we’ve wrestled with before.”

In essence, the mood in the Mercedes camp is cautiously hopeful. They’re eyeing the prize, aware of the hurdles, yet ready to give it their all. Will this be their year? Time will tell, but the groundwork for a comeback seems laid.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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