George Russell reveals true ‘genius’ behind F1 car developments and it is not drivers

Sam Cooper
Mick Schumacher drives Mercedes W14 in Barcelona, 2022.

Mick Schumacher driving the Mercedes W14 in Barcelona, 2022.

George Russell has rubbished the idea that is it the drivers who develop the car, insisting it is the “smart and intelligent” factory members.

Seven races into the 2023 season, F1 is in prime development mode as teams look to improve on the car they first took to the track in Bahrain and Russell’s Mercedes is one of the constructors to have improved the most.

They unveiled a B-spec car in Monaco, having originally aimed for the cancelled Imola race, but it was not until the Spanish Grand Prix where Silver Arrows fans got a first taste of its true performance.

Russell finished P3 while his team-mate Lewis Hamilton was one spot better in P2 behind Max Verstappen – but Russell insisted none of the development credit should go to himself.

“Of course, at every race and every drive on the track we give our feedback and say what we need from the car and what needs to be improved,” the Brit said, as per

“Each driver also works in the simulator to a greater or lesser extent. It’s a really useful tool for developing these cars. And I try to invest as much as possible in the simulator to help in that regard.”

“But ultimately it’s up to the smart and intelligent designers and engineers to deliver the results, in the direction that Lewis and I and the lead engineers have set by saying what we need.”

Already the upgrades have pushed Mercedes higher up the grid, leading Damon Hill to suggest they are now the second-quickest team in the sport, and Russell says more is still to come.

“Silverstone we’re excited for,” Russell told Sky Sports F1 in Barcelona.

“I think we’ll be in a good place there to fight for a good result. We might have a couple more things coming for Silverstone.

“But we need to not get too carried away with just this one result. The team have done an amazing job to bring these upgrades.

“I think Aston and Ferrari probably underperformed a little bit in the race today. So let’s see what the next races bring, but definitely a great step forward.”