(Conducted by Naomi Schiff)
Q: George incredible result today. You said to me earlier that fifth would be the best you could do today. But this is your second [sic, third] podium this year. How happy are you with this result?
George RUSSELL: Yeah, as we said before, you got to be there at the end to pick up the pieces. And thanks so much to all the guys back at Brackley and Brixworth for doing a great job. To get the car to the end is not easy this year with everything that’s going on. The cars are going through a torrid time with the bouncing. And yeah, pleased to bring it home in P3.
If you like SilverArrows.Net, consider supporting us by buying us a coffee!
Q: George, many congratulations to you as well. Your third podium of the season. What were your expectations coming into the race?
GR: Not third, to be honest. I think P5 was the maximum we could have achieved on merit, and on pace, let’s say – but obviously this is a team effort, and you’ve got to be there at the end to pick up the pieces, score the points. And for us to show for all the hard work back at Brackley and Brixworth to deliver a reliable car and reliable power unit, and capitalise from others’ misfortunes, whatever you want to call it.
Q: Reading back through your quotes over the weekend here in Baku, the car seems to have been a real handful. Just how challenging a weekend has this been for you? And for Mercedes?
GR: I think the car has been feeling OK to drive, to be honest. The balance is good. Just the challenge is just the bottoming, to be honest, I think it doesn’t matter what boat you’re in either, you’ve got the porpoising and you’re hitting the ground. And if you don’t have porpoising, you’re running the car millimetres to the ground, and you’re bottoming out. And I think, yeah, feeling it on the back at the moment. But nevertheless, as I said, we’ve got to keep on working hard to find more performance and understand what we need to do to unlock that. And yeah, I don’t think we’ll have any major updates or anything to try in Canada, but maybe for Silverstone, we’ll have a better idea.
Q: You’re only 17 points behind Charles Leclerc in the driver’s standings; Mercedes are just 38 points behind Ferrari. Do those stats come as a surprise?
GR: Kind of like what Max said, you’ve got to keep on scoring. You know, this is a Championship where you’ve got the chance to score every single race and it doesn’t matter how fast your car is, if you’re not scoring those points, then your tally is not going to increase. So, as I said here, great work from everybody back at the factories to deliver a reliable car – but we can’t keep on relying on others’ misfortune, and we need to find more performance. And that’s what everyone’s trying their hardest to achieve.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Niharika Ghorpade – Sportskeeda) George, given that your cars have severe porpoising issues, do you think it has come to the point where Mercedes need to consider a different concept? Or do you think the current concept has the potential to deliver?
GR: I think we’ve got to stay open-minded about everything and go about things logically, analytically, and I think nothing’s off the table at this stage. And ultimately, we’re just trying to deliver a car that is the fastest over a lap. I mean, the porpoising has not been that bad this weekend. We’ve barely had any issues, it’s just the ride and running very close to the ground to get as much performance as possible. But as I said, at the moment, we’re struggling to unlock that. So, as I said, open-minded and nothing’s off the table.
Q: (Matt Kew – Autosport) George it’s come to light this morning that F1 teams voted against a suggestion of rules to stop porposing ahead of the season. That’s obviously something you’ve championed this weekend in terms of going to the FIA to see if that’s something that can be eliminated. So I just wonder what your reaction is to finding out that it could have been prevented?
GR: Yeah, I think that was totally understandable because every single team is understanding and developing their cars around a set of regulations and any change, nobody knows what is going to be the consequences. And even us, I think we voted against it. And even now, we want change but who knows what that change is, it’s just us, 20 drivers, we would choose to have a safer ride out there and when you’re going 300kmh between the walls and you barely can keep the car in a straight line. I couldn’t even see my pit board, the car was moving around so much. We have the technology in Formula 1 to resolve this with a click of our fingers, I believe, so as I said, nobody’s looking to take advantage from this, we’re just looking for a safer, easier solution.