Russell has “no doubt” that Red Bull and Ferrari have “pushed the regulations”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

George Russell says the FIA’s technical directive, which will put a stop to ‘flexi-floors’, is “not going to help” Red Bull and Ferrari, “that’s for sure”.

The FIA will start enforcing its ‘anti-porpoising’ technical directive at the Belgian Grand Prix. The TD will also prevent certain teams from using ‘flexi-floors’, as it is not in accordance with the regulations.

Two teams that have been rumoured to use this solution are Ferrari and Red Bull. George Russell says he has no doubt they have been stretching the rules.

“There’s no doubt Ferrari and Red Bull have pushed the regulations in that regard, and we’ve sort of respected it as the regulation was intended,” the Briton told Sky Sports F1 after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“But there’s no guarantees it would bring them closer to us. We know if it was on our car it would make us slower. There’s no guarantees, every car is different.

“But it’s not going to help them, that’s for sure.”

Although Mercedes had its best race weekend of 2022 in Hungary, Russell says Red Bull and Ferrari are still ahead.

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“Max and Red Bull are cruising. I think Max and Charles, they are on a similar level at the moment.

“I really feel for Charles because he’s doing a superb job and he’s been on the receiving end of a lot of bad luck.

“Max and Red Bull were just absolutely solid week in week out and we’ve seen for the last couple of race weekends, they can just bring the car home and pick up the pieces.

“But there’s no doubt we are making progress as a team. We were finishing almost a minute behind the race winner at the start of the season, now it’s 10 seconds in the last couple of races. And if we can continue on that path we will definitely be in the hunt.

“Spa will be interesting with some changes to some little regulations, which may bring other teams towards us.

“And I think we as a team have a lot of confidence in ourselves and faith that we are doing a great job and there’s no reason we can’t be in that mix.”

George started the race on Sunday from pole, however, he finished in P3. Despite this, he says Mercedes did everything right when it comes to strategy and race management.

“I think we did everything right for all the right reasons. And when I was sat on the grid and it was drizzling and rain was on the way, and I was on the softs and everyone was on the mediums, I was rubbing my hands together.

“But unfortunately, after four laps we built probably a three-second gap, the rain stopped and the soft tyre wasn’t the best tyre to be on, and the mediums started to close up.

“We boxed quite early on both stints, reacting to Max, reacting to the Ferraris and then at the end, unfortunately, it compromised us substantially when the rain started to come back again and we were on the really old medium tyres trying to fend off Lewis and Carlos [Sainz] on the new soft tyres.

“So that’s racing, you can’t pre-empt every single scenario. We did everything right as a team, it was going to go one way or another and so it easily could have gone our way if the rain had stayed with us for let’s say 10 more minutes at the start.

“We’d have pulled out a gap, we wouldn’t have had to pit so early and the two last stints on the mediums would have been stronger.”

“So nevertheless, pole position, P3, a lot to be proud of,” Russell concluded.

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