Russell: Mercedes F1 “need to improve quickly” following another underwhelming performance in Miami GP Qualifying

Photo Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
Spread the love

Qualifying in seventh position ahead of tomorrow’s Miami GP, George Russell has outqualified his teammate and seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, once again.

Fourth in the constructor’s championship thus far, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team has been struggling to find their footing this year and are struggling again in Miami.

After the session, Russell provided some insight into the W15’s intricacies and issues caused by overcorrecting existing issues that they had with the W14, alongside his expectations for the race ahead.

“I expect to be looking forward to tomorrow.

“P7 and P8 we have to accept is where we are at the moment. We are a step behind McLaren and Red Bull. McLaren and Ferrari are a big step behind Red Bull.”

Noting the differences between his performance as a driver, and the performance of the car, Russell said, “I think the result we showed today was the maximum, but I’m confident tomorrow we will make a step forward.”

Acknowledging the landscape of the sport and recognising the gap between Mercedes and their rivals, Russell stated, “The fact is the stopwatch doesn’t lie and we know that probably some of the changes we have made since the end of last year perhaps overcompensated with some of the development items we did.

“We have limitations with the car now, which is a totally different limitation to what we had this time 12 months ago.” 

Photo Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

Shedding light on the problems the team faced last season, Russell explained that in attempting to fix the problems of the past, their focus has been drawn away from the issues in the present.

“We did so much work to solve the problems. We’ve kind of gone too far in that direction. We know we need to improve, and we need to improve quickly.”

Despite the issues facing the team, the British driver was positive in noting that the team can rectify the problems at hand and turn things around as they look to return to the front.

“We definitely know how to.

“I think when we look at the data, we understand why we’re in the position we are right now.”

Russell candidly spoke about the team’s development issues and the delicate balance between addressing existing issues and introducing new solutions. 

“Unfortunately, we probably overcompensated to solve the problems of last year. And we’ve gone from this extreme to that extreme now, and we need to sort of rewind and find ourselves sort of in a halfway house.

“When new upgrades take eight weeks to bring to the car, you learn this problem, race one, race two, you know, you can’t just bring an upgrade to the next race. You’ve got to put it in the wind tunnel, you’ve got to design it, someone’s got to draw it, someone’s got to build it, and then you’re halfway through the season.

“I think that’s why it’s so difficult when you’re on the backfoot to just suddenly make that progress. And everybody expects it tomorrow, and we want it tomorrow, trust me, but this is the reality of Formula One.”

The team’s overcorrection is causing them to navigate a series of adjustments and recalibrations in the car, making it increasingly difficult to balance correction alongside necessary developments for the W15.