George Russell fires title warning to rivals after Mercedes W14 rectification – “They haven’t forgotten how to build a fast car”

Mercedes driver George Russell is confident that his team has not lost its ability to design a championship-winning car and believes that they simply went down the wrong path with the 2022 W13.

Despite struggles with the W13 last season, the team was able to make significant improvements in the latter half of the championship, with Technical Director Andrew Shovlin attributing the progress to the strong collaboration and teamwork between the drivers.

Russell believes his early initiation at Mercedes may have been a bit tricky, but feels having the experience of Lewis Hamilton alongside him helped him grow from strength to strength.

“It takes some time whenever you join a new team, regardless of who your teammate is, to embed yourself and gain that trust and confidence within the whole organisation,” Russell said.

“It’s been a good journey for me, being team-mates with him.

“He’s the greatest of all time so I’m in a very privileged position to go up directly alongside him but also learn from him.”

Russell thrilled to learn from Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. Credit:
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. Credit:

Russell, who finished fourth in the championship standings last season, thinks Hamilton is one of the greatest drivers of all time and expressed his gratitude at being granted the opportunity to race alongside him.

“We were both fighting for P4, P5, P6 and we don’t want to be in this position, so I’m not going to walk away with huge amounts of pride because I finished fourth in the championship,” Russell said.

“I’m here to win.“I’m really excited for 2023. I’m still going to be trying to improve my driving, what I do on and off track, and hopefully we’ve got the car beneath us to fight for the championship.”

Russell is under no pretences when it comes to where the Silver Arrows currently stand.

The young British driver knows that the team is playing catch up with Red Bull and Ferrari, but that didn’t deter his optimism with regard to a 2023 title push.

“We haven’t suddenly taken a stupid pill, winning the Constructor’ Championship last December and then in March being nowhere is very easy. We got the concept wrong,” he said.

Mercedes went down wrong path: Russell

Goerge Russell. Credit:
Goerge Russell. Credit:

This assessment got validation from Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, who accepted that the team got its concept wrong while designing last year’s car.

For Russell, though, it’s clear that Mercedes has the right personnel and technical expertise to push for top honours in 2023.

“They haven’t forgotten how to build a fast race car,” he said.

“We just got it wrong. We got the philosophy wrong. We went down a route which turned out to be the wrong route.

“Sometimes it takes you a long time to dig yourself out of that hole. Now I feel we’ve dug ourselves out of that hole and we’re building on top of that.

“We are a step behind Red Bull and Ferrari and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do – but we’re definitely going to be in a much stronger position from race one.”

Read more: Mercedes W14 fails to meet minimum FIA requirement after Silver Arrows shed too much weight off challenger

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