George Russell gives Mercedes W14 upgrade update for after summer break

Thomas Maher
Mercedes racer George Russell at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.

George Russell, Mercedes driver, pictured at the British Grand Prix.

George Russell has confirmed there’s no let-up in the push from Mercedes into the second half of the season.

Having rolled out a significant upgrade package through the middle portion of the 2023 F1 season, Mercedes won’t be backing off on the upgrade push once the season resumes in Zandvoort in three weeks time.

With stable regulations on into 2024, there’s no need for teams to slow down their development of the current cars, provided they intend to stick with the same concept or design philosophy for next year’s machine.

George Russell: Mercedes are going to be strong in the second half of the year.

The team closest to Red Bull has changed frequently during the first 12 races, with Mercedes having to share podium finishes with Aston Martin, Ferrari, and recently, McLaren.

The Woking-based team have made huge gains in recent races as they’ve rolled out their latest upgrades, but Russell sees no reason why Mercedes won’t have the measure of them during the remaining 10 races of the year.

“I think they’ve just had a really good run of form, it’s often how it goes in this sport,” he told media, including PlanetF1.com, at the beginning of the summer break.

“When you’re on the right foot, things are a little bit easier. You’re not stressing, your car is in the right place when you put it on the ground.

“I’m sure we’re going to be strong in the second half of the season. We’ve got some little things coming in after the break. I’m confident we can secure that second-best team… to try and close that gap further.”

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But, with Russell struggling to keep pace with teammate Lewis Hamilton as the season has gone on, Russell said he’s welcoming the chance to rest and recover for a few weeks.

“Yeah, definitely ready for it. It’s been a season of two halves,” he said.

“The first six races were really strong. The last six races, not so much. I’ve a few ideas why that is, a lot of missed opportunities this season, for various reasons.

“Some from mistakes of my own, some like the failure in Australia cost me a lot of points. But, nevertheless, if you’re not fighting for the P1 in the Drivers’ Championship, you just want to maximise the Constructors’ and, so far, we’re doing that.

“It’s needed, this break, for everybody in the sport – it has been a pretty intense start to the season.”

George Russell: Mercedes poring over past glories for 2024 car

But while Russell doesn’t feel on top of the car quite as much as he’d like, the British driver said he’s working closely with Mercedes to try re-capturing some of the driving characteristics that made the team’s machines so formidable under the old ruleset.

“It definitely can be tweaked. I think we’re working really hard on the characteristics for next year,” he said.

“We’re looking a lot at how the previous generations of cars were for Mercedes, during the glory years, and using that as a bit of inspiration as clearly, that was one of the best cars in history.

“So that’s given us some pointers of where we need to try and aim for.”

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