George Russell would like Mercedes F1 to perform better this season, but the British driver is aware that this task is not the easiest. The new recruit to the world champion team, however, is delighted to be able to help Brackley’s structure to recover.
« You can’t cry and sulk about the overall performance because it’s not going to be productive and it’s not going to go any faster » relativizes Russell. « So you have to make the best of every tricky situation and be constructive in pushing the team in the right areas. »
“The adventure we are embarking on at the moment is exciting. As soon as we recognized that we had a lot of challenges with this new car, we really got to work thinking about how to make the car go faster. . »
« We’re not trying to make it more fun to ride or anything. We just want it to go as fast as possible. And what do we need to do to achieve that? As a team, we’ve been working very difficult. »
« We tried a lot of different things. Maybe too many things at one time. And it was a challenge to analyze absolutely everything we did in the short period of time we had. »
A victory in 2022 is « a realistic ambition »
Mercedes have seemed to be closing in on Red Bull and Ferrari in recent races and while the outright performance doesn’t seem to be as good as its rivals, the W13 has enough race arguments for Russell to believe in a win this year.
« It’s a realistic ambition, I really believe it. The only thing we don’t know is what our rivals will bring to their cars. It’s a relative gain because if we find a second on the lap and if they find 0.8 seconds, they’ll still be ahead of us. But there’s no reason why we can’t close that gap. »
« I don’t think we will have the fastest car this year. But there will definitely be times when we can fight for the win. We probably had two occasions where we could have fought for the win – at Silverstone and potentially at Barcelona. »
« We could have if things had gone slightly differently. And we’re just making the car faster. We’re far from reaching our full potential. That’s why we’re a bit optimistic. »
A long-term project
Russell didn’t disclose the length of his contract, but he explains that those discussions are currently off the table: « I’m here to win. Toto is here to win. We’re all, every person, here to win. And any contract negotiation or discussion is a distraction from performance. »
« I have enough confidence in the team and in myself that I don’t need to have these conversations at the moment. But obviously it’s always been part of the plan: once we’re here, we’re here. for the long term. »
« So I’m just a little excited, trying to build my future with the team. But for now we’re focused on what lies ahead. We have things to try and test. »
« It’s not necessarily going to bring us any performance this weekend or the next, but it’s going to give us a good idea of where we need to go in the future. And that’s what we’re all excited about and focused on. »