George Russell says, aside from porpoising, Mercedes also has problems with tyre warm-up, but they’re “getting the results at the moment, relatively speaking”.
At the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix George Russell managed to outperform his Mercedes and finish the race in P4. Afterwards he explained what went on in the race.
“It was difficult because the first stint was strong, but I had loads of understeer in the car so I wanted to put a lot of front wing in the car for the dry tyre,” the Briton said.
“And then ordinarily you need to put a lot more front wing in the car for the wet compared to the dry and unfortunately, we didn’t manage it in the pit stop.
“I was like, ‘bugger, this is going to be a difficult 40 laps,’ and I just had to manage the tyre because I wanted to attack Lando [Norris].
“I knew that that front-right would have just disappeared, and I’d definitely finish behind Valtteri.
“Really pleased with the result today – P4 was massively out of reach after qualifying, after the Sprint yesterday – so a good result again.
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He then highlighted Mercedes’ problems with porpoising.
“It was still difficult to drive with the bouncing. There was one time I was on the radio, and it sort of took my breath away on the straight with the bumps. I need a nice hot bath to recover!”
However, George added the team is also battling tyre warm-up issues.
“Whether we’re getting the most out of the car is a different story and I do think things have fallen slightly in our favour with these first four races.
“We’ve got these overall limitations with the car with the bouncing, and we know that we are struggling with the tyre warm up and this is the coldest race weekend we’ve had by far this year.
“I think it’s been a bit of a trend since Bahrain, we’ve progressively gotten a bit slower in qualifying, and I think that’s because Bahrain is the hottest we’ve experienced so there was no problem with tyre warm up.
“Then we went to Jeddah, and it was still hot, but the track was a bit smoother. Melbourne, a bit cooler. At Imola, very cold.
“That’s when you see the McLarens, Alpines, and Haas coming into their own but then struggling a bit more in the race.
“We need to find a better compromise because we were fortunate, we had a decent result, but ultimately, we were starting far too low on the grid.”
In the end Russell remains optimistic that the W13 still has potential to get back in the fight.
“As I’ve said before, it’s a results-based business and we’re getting the results at the moment, relatively speaking.
“So it gives me confidence that when we improve the pace of the car, we’ll be there,” he concluded.