George Russell’s 2023 seat-fitting offers first glimpse of revised roll hoop

Michelle Foster
George Russell 2023 seat fitting Mercedes. December 2022

Posting a video of George Russell’s seat-fitting for the 2022 W14, Mercedes gave Formula 1 fans a brief, and not complete view, of the new-for-2023 roll hoop.

Zhou Guanyu suffered a horrific crash at this year’s British Grand Prix, the Alfa Romeo driver flipped over in a first lap crash.

Sliding across the track with his roll hoop giving off sparks, he went hurtling through the gravel before flipping, his car coming to a rest between the catch fence and the tyre barrier.

Zhou was fortunate to escape unhurt, the driver back in the car at the very next race in Austria.

But given that his roll hoop broke in the slide, the FIA launched an investigation before announcing changes.

The World Motor Sport Council ratified the following changes:
* A change to require a rounded top of the roll hoop, which will reduce the chance of it digging into the ground during an accident.
* A change to ensure a minimum height for the point of application of the homologation test.
* Creation of a new physical homologation test where the load pushes the roll hoop in the forward direction.
* Definition of new tests to be carried out by calculation.

While Mercedes didn’t show off the full roll hope in the Russell video, they did give some indication as to its rounded top.

Captioned “getting as snug as a bug in a rug for F1 2023! The preparation for next year continues!” the team posted the video on YouTube.

Announcing he was at the team’s Brackley headquarters for his 2023 seat-fitting, Russell got suited and booted before climbing into a raw monocoque.

“Here we are at the factory to check my seat for the 2023 car, making sure it is as snug and tight as possible,” he said in the video.

Russell was at the team’s factory in Brackley just days after accepting the Autosport International award for ‘Moment of the Year’ for his breakthrough F1 victory at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

“It was an incredible moment for me personally, the journey that the team had been on in that [2022] season,” he said on the night.

“We had the golden opportunity in the Brazilian Grand Prix. The race was pretty under control and the Safety Car came out, I saw Lewis behind me and I thought this is not going to be straightforward!”

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