Mercedes W15 ‘rushed’ job concerns put to ease as George Russell makes first inspection – “Happy to see we’ve done due diligence this time”

Mercedes driver George Russell made his first inspection of the W15 following a ‘stuttering’ second season at the Silver Arrows.

The Mercedes engineering team has vowed to completely overhaul its design heading into the upcoming season after flattering to deceive over the past couple of years.

George Russell. Credit:
George Russell. Credit:

Mercedes had been the strongest team for a number of years, with Lewis Hamilton helping them dominate the start of the turbo-hybrid era.

While Russell’s entry at Mercedes and smooth transition to beat Hamilton in his debut season surprised many, the 25-year-old struggled to replicate that form the following season.

Despite being new to the team and a youngster compared to Hamilton, Russell was critical in how he felt Mercedes engineers had gone about designing the W14, claiming that the job seemed ‘rushed’.

It proved to be the case as the season went on, with the team unable to get a single Grand Prix win as Red Bull carved a record-breaking season, failing to win all but one of the 22 Grand Prix.

Russell’s critical response to what he saw of the W14 has pleasantly changed this year, though, as the British driver feels Mercedes has done ‘due diligence’ before going about its preparations.

Speaking after getting the first glimpse of his new challenger, Russell was noticeably happy.

“I think last year it was all a little bit rushed,” Russell told Autosport.

“We didn’t have all the information to hand, we may have jumped to a couple of conclusions without thoroughly going through the consequences.

“I’m happy to see we have done due diligence this time.

“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.

“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 fact is, we’ve got to close a huge gap. The Red Bull dominance [in 2023] 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 straight away. But [I’m] definitely confident we won’t fall into some of the same traps we did this year.”

Read more: Why did George Russell invite only Fernando Alonso to party with him and his girlfriend Carmen Mundt?

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