Russell reveals feeling “more confident” with the W15 than he did with the W14

Photo: Mercedes AMG Petronas
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At the end of the 2021 season, it looked like Mercedes would remain direct competition to Red Bull, but that was not the case.

In 2022, Mercedes’ W13 was not the car the team had hoped for, but when George Russell managed to win the Brazilian Grand Prix, new hope arose for the Brackley team, who then decided to continue using their sidepod design for the 2023 season.

Last year’s Bahrain tests, however, proved that this was not the right decision, as the W14 lacked any pace whatsoever. At last season’s Monaco Grand Prix and seeing Red Bull’s all-new sidepod concept, Toto Wolff anticipated that the German team would change almost every component, as it would give them a chance for 2024:

“There’s almost every component that’s being changed because only by doing that, I think we have a chance”. The Mercedes team boss said those changes would cover several areas of the car that will compete in 2024 like: “how we laid out the chassis, the weight distribution, the airflow”. 

But Wolff is not the only one who seems to be optimistic about the W15 project, George Russell said he is very confident about it, as last season’s car was made in a hurry.

Russell expressed his feelings : “More confident going into this break”

” [Mercedes has been] working on the new 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”.

The British driver commented that last year the team did not have the information they have today, and that they made hasty decisions without thinking about the consequences, but said they learned a lot from last year:

“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,” added the former Williams driver.

“We’ve obviously had a further 12 months’ experience to further understand the car and what brings the performance. 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 young driver remains grounded as he knows that Mercedes has a lot of catch up to do in order to return on Red Bull’s very competitive level.

Thus, at the surprise of no-one, Russell added that he doesn’t believe that any team on the Formula 1 grid will be able to make the leap needed to get on the championsip winners’ level, all while reaffirming his faith in the team led by Wolff:

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,” he concluded.

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