Russell Optimistic About Mercedes’ 2024 F1 Car

George Russell expresses confidence in Mercedes avoiding previous design pitfalls for their 2024 F1 car, learning from the W14's creation.


By Ben Bush
Updated on January 17, 2024

George Russell on 2024 F1 Car Design

Mercedes‘ unexpected decision to retain the ‘zeropod’ sidepod design and overall framework from the problematic W13, initially developed for the new ground-effect era in F1, came under scrutiny. The team’s belief influenced this choice in transforming it into a competitor against Red Bull, especially after Russell’s victory at the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix, alongside teammate Lewis Hamilton.

However, the team had to quickly reassess this strategy when the W14 showed significant performance issues during the 2023 Bahrain test and the season’s first race.

READ MORE: Mercedes’ Expansion Sparks Controversy and Concern in Northamptonshire

Mercedes then introduced Red Bull’s downwash sidepod design at the Monaco Grand Prix. Toto Wolff, the team principal, acknowledged the extensive changes planned for the 2024 W15 model, noting that nearly every component would be altered to enhance competitiveness: “how we laid out the chassis, the weight distribution, the airflow”.

In a conversation with various media outlets, Russell shared his positive outlook on these developments, anticipating a more thoughtfully designed car for the 2024 season.

Russell said he felt “more confident going into this [20232024 winter] break” because Mercedes has been “working on the new [W15] concept for a long time and there’s been so much due diligence gone into that concept”.

“Whereas I think last year it was all a little bit rushed,” he added.

“We didn’t have all the information to hand, we may have jumped to a couple of conclusions without thoroughly going through the consequences.

“And we learned when the car hit the ground this year that we made a step forward in some regards, but it came with a lot of baggage and we hadn’t taken that into consideration.

“So, I think we’ve done a great job to truly understand what we need.

“We’ve obviously had a further 12 months’ experience to further understand the car and what brings the performance.

“I think last year we put all our eggs in one basket and that wasn’t a basket that provided the performance we were expecting.

“[But], the fact is we’ve got to close a huge gap. The Red Bull dominance this year [in 2023] is probably the greatest – I think statistically it is the most dominant car ever – so we’ve all got a huge task on our hands.

“But I’m going into next year with an open mind.

“I don’t think anyone’s expecting either us, McLaren, Aston Martin or Ferrari to make that step straightaway.

“But [I’m] definitely confident we won’t fall into some of the same traps we did this year.”

Source: Autosport

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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