George Russell on the W13: “There is a fast racing car there”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

George Russell says Mercedes has “known all along there is a fast racing car there”, but they just have to find the key to unlock the W13’s potential.

Mercedes has had a promising start to the Miami Grand Prix weekend, with George Russell topping FP2, however, in qualifying and the race they were back firmly in the midfield.

After the race George said the team still believes in their car’s potential.

“Yeah, it is there, we just need to try and unlock it,” the Briton said.

“I think we still don’t really understand why it’s so unpredictable. Toto [Wolff] is throwing the word diva around a lot, but I think that’s a bit of an understatement, because it’s so unpredictable.

“When the thing just starts bouncing in the corners, it’s a killer to drive.”

The porpoising remains Mercedes’ biggest issue, but Russell says the team still doesn’t know what to do about it.

“We’ve known all along there is a fast racing car there. Friday was a complete outlier, we don’t really understand why.

“Obviously Lewis did a better job than I on Saturday, qualified P6, but even fuel and power corrected, his fastest laps were on Friday, whereas every other driver improved over one second.

“My race pace was two tenths slower than Leclerc on Friday, and on Sunday it’s back to half a second to a second, so I don’t know.

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“I’d love to give you an answer to be honest. We’ve got the brightest engineers in the business working day and night to try and understand it, and we still don’t really have a clear answer as to why yet.

“So we need to keep on analysing, and I think this weekend may turn out to be one of the most important weekends when we look back.”

Ultimately, George says Mercedes is currently realistically the third team on the grid in terms of performance.

“I think five and six is where we deserve to be. Obviously we’ve probably underperformed at some other circuits, especially on Saturdays, which makes it difficult for our Sunday.

“For sure this weekend as well we’ve shown the most amount of promise, but a long way off still.

“I mean, there’s a fast car there. We’ve only got to look at the data from Friday and compare it to the data today and Saturday and look at the differences.

“But it’s odd, this sport is funny sometimes, and these new cars are certainly challenging,” Russell concluded.

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