George Russell says the W13 was “a totally different beast today”

© Finn Pomeroy for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After topping Friday’s FP2, George Russell only managed P12 in Miami Grand Prix Qualifying. The Briton says his car felt completely different today.

Mercedes was showing some promise on Friday, with George Russell topping the Miami Grand Prix second free practice session, however in today’s Qualifying, he got eliminated in Q2.

The young Briton says something changed with his car.

“It’s definitely a surprise, but after driving the car and experiencing how it felt, it’s no surprise,” Russell said after the session.

“Today it felt like a totally different beast. We had loads of porpoising today. We don’t understand why. And ultimately that was the difficulty.

“It was the first time I’ve ever felt it all the way through a corner. Through Turn 4 and Turn 5 it was just bouncing through it all, and then into all of the braking zones.

“It’s a shame because I was slower today than I was yesterday and everyone else has gone one second quicker.”

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Russell went on to say Mercedes did play with the set-up today, but ahead of qualifying they reverted back to the one they used yesterday.

“There was [a set-up change] this morning, but we reversed on that and for whatever reason, [the porpoising is] still there.

“There’s clearly something with the conditions, or I don’t know what it may have been. But the feeling from within was different.

“It’s just like the rear of the car is hopping around, and you just don’t have any support or stability in the rear. Yesterday we were flying through sector one and had so much confidence in the car.

“It was a totally different beast today,” George concluded.

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