Mercedes upgrade: George Russell doesn’t expect ‘something scary’ from W14 changes at Monaco GP
George Russell says he doesn’t expect anything “scary” from Mercedes’ upgrades and the choice to debut them at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend is not “risky”.
Mercedes had planned to bring the long-awaited updates to the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix last weekend, before flooding in northern Italy caused the event to be canceled before a car was put on the road. racing in Imola.
While Monaco is often not the best fit for a team to deliver significant upgrades due to the track’s unique slow-paced nature and high risk of accidents, Mercedes has chosen not to delay further until the Western Grand Prix. Spain next weekend at the more conventional Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
“I think you always need to go on a lap like this with a certain level of respect and you need to build on it,” Russell said on Thursday.
“But I have confidence in the team and I don’t think there’s going to be anything scary about this new update, that totally puts us off running.
“I’m glad we’re rolling out an update this weekend because you always want to boost the performance of your car as much as possible and it will be a dismaying weekend for all of us if we knew we had a bit of performance on the table just sitting there in the factory.”
Changes to the car, including the removal of their ‘zero-sidepod’ philosophy as part of the new bodywork, also include a new floor and a new front suspension.
Mercedes is trying to close the gap with Red Bull, having been markedly outnumbered by the reigning constructors’ champions since new design regulations were implemented at the start of last season.
After its new parts were first seen as Mercedes installed in their Monaco garage on Thursday, the updated W14 will hit the track when the first practice session kicks off at 12 :30 p.m. Friday, live on Sports sky.
“It’s not necessarily risky,” Russell said. “We just wanted to start with development. Obviously it was always meant for Imola last week, so we’re not just going to sit here and watch the performance and not use it.
“So yes, bold perhaps, but running this package in Monaco has always been the case.”
Russell echoed comments made by Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff earlier in the week in which he said the team had to be “careful” not to draw too many conclusions from how the car performed in Monaco.
“We obviously know that this is a very unique circuit and we won’t really read anything about the performance the new updates show this weekend,” Russell said.
“There are always outliers in teams that have a superior record on a track like Monaco and teams with a worse record in Monaco, but in the end we don’t design a car that reaches the top in Monaco.
“So we just need to get through the weekend and look again when we go to Barcelona and start from there.
“I don’t think you’re going to learn much from a race weekend like this, so whatever we take away from this weekend, we’ll skip a pinch of salt and head into Barcelona with a clean ranking.”
Hamilton: I’m happy to feel something different
Mercedes to Monaco have faced being 128 points behind Red Bull in the constructors standings after just five races into the season, but have been melee with Aston Martin and Ferrari behind the runners-up. speed.
Russell’s teammate Lewis Hamilton admitted last month that he was “counting the days” until the Mercedes upgrades arrive, and said his excitement remained despite the Monaco not is an ideal lap to showcase them.
“Unfortunately, it’s not a worse track for us to judge our upgrades,” Hamilton said.
“It’s not a downforce rating circuit, it’s very bumpy, the car is pretty soft, has a lot of roll and mechanical grip is also extremely important here.
“I think Barcelona will be where we have the best results. I think we have to tread carefully this weekend to make sure that we are not blinded by different results.
“But anyway, I’m still excited, I’m excited to feel something different. I don’t know what it’s going to be, more behind, more forward.”
While Hamilton, who is looking for an eighth world championship in the sport, is clearly excited at the chance to start over, he cautions that there is no prospect of catching up with Red Bull right away. .
“I just have to say that this change won’t put us ahead of the Red Bulls,” Hamilton said. “It doesn’t really make us go after them, but hopefully this is just turning the tide a little bit and putting us on a trajectory to catch them, hopefully.
“There’s a lot of people on the team who’ve had all the success we’ve had in the past and there’s a lot of people who haven’t had that success and are very hungry.
“I’m really encouraged to go back to the factory and see how hard everyone is working.
“Last year we were a bit lost in figuring out how to fix the problems we had, now they’ve got the North Star, they know exactly where they need to go and we’re figuring out how to get there.”
Sky Sports F1Monaco GP schedule live
Friday May 26
10:05: F3 Qualifier
12pm: Monaco GP Practice One (session starts at 12:30pm)
14h05: F2 Qualifier
3:45pm: Monaco GP Second Practice (session starts at 4pm)
5:30pm: F1 Show: Monaco
Saturday May 27
9:55 am: Sprint F3
11:15: Monaco GP training session 3 (session starts at 11:30 am)
13h30: Sprint F2
2:30pm: Build Monaco GP Qualifier
3pm: Monaco GP Qualifier
4:45 p.m.: Ted .’s Eligibility Notebook
Sunday May 28
7:15: F3 . Feature Race
8:45 am: F2 race
12:30pm: Construction of Grand Prix Sunday Monaco GP
2pm: MONACO GRAND PRIX
4pm: Monaco GP . checkered flag reaction
5 p.m.: Ted .’s Notebook
17:30: Indy 500 for the 107th time
Formula 1 is currently heading to the streets of Monaco for the sixth Grand Prix of the 2023 season – check out all the action on Sky Sports F1 May 26-28. Get sports in the sky