Montoya says Hamilton and Russell are “not racing each other at all”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Juan Pablo Montoya says Mercedes are “just trying to figure out the car”, and once they do “the whole grid is going to flip upside down”.

In an interview with Vegas Insider, former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya talked about the issues Mercedes is currently facing with their car.

“[the W13] looks awful. I think they’ve given up a lot of pace because they need to run the car really high, for the porpoising,” the Colombian said.

“You see how bad at the end of the straights that car bounces! It’s like the driver is going like that [bobs head] and you’re trying to figure out where is the braking zone.

“I’ve been through it. It’s a nightmare. It hurts the car, the gearbox, everything takes a beating. They’ve just given up a lot of pace just to make it survive the races.

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“Once they figure it out, the whole grid is going to flip upside down, it’s going to change a lot.”

Considering how Lewis Hamilton has suffered more than George Russell in recent races, Montoya was asked how he thinks Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff should manage his two drivers.

“I think there’s no drama. Lewis is in a different position in his career than George and that makes a big, big difference.

“The focus, at the team, at the moment, they’re not racing each other at all. They’re just trying to figure out the car. And I bet you they’re trying different setups and different things.

“If they struggle on a weekend and it’s terrible, they’ll be like, ‘okay, we move on to the next one’.

“A team like Mercedes that are used to winning races, if they finish fifth or ninth in a race, or ninth and 12th. Who cares? In the big picture, who cares?

“What really matters is understanding what’s missing and figure it out and if they can understand what they need to do, it’ll make a big difference.”

In the end, Montoya gave his thoughts on what Mercedes’ gameplan should be for this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.

“Same thing, you know, figure out things. George was pretty quick in Saudi. There’s potential. That’s the same reason why I think a Mercedes in Monaco could be really strong”

“Here they’re talking about the straights are really long, low downforce. And if you’re low downforce, they might be smaller as well.

“If you’re not pulling enough downforce, it might allow them to run the car a little lower,” he concluded.

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