George Russell shares update on Mercedes W15 upgrades with ‘quick’ action needed

Thomas Maher
George Russell, Mercedes, 2024 Miami Grand Prix.

George Russell believes Mercedes' fortunes won't transform in the short-term future.

George Russell believes upcoming Mercedes updates won’t “transform” his team’s fortunes in the short term.

With Mercedes currently unable to join in the fight for victories, or even podiums, in Formula 1, George Russell believes that the situation isn’t going to change in the near future despite the introduction of upgrades.

George Russell: It shows what’s possible when you get things right

Speaking after the Miami Grand Prix, which was won by McLaren – a Mercedes engine customer – Russell paid tribute to his friend and compatriot Lando Norris as the British driver clocked his first F1 victory.

“It’s always great to see somebody get that chance to score a victory. Lando is deserving of that,” he said.

With McLaren coming on in leaps and bounds through a series of upgrades, starting at last year’s Austrian Grand Prix, Russell said the Woking-based team has nailed its development path.

“McLaren qualified P17 and P18 12 months ago in Miami and, today, they won,” he said.

“So it shows what’s possible when you get things right.

“But, right now, we don’t have things right and we need to make changes quick.”

Mercedes introduced several new parts at the Miami Grand Prix, including a revised floor along with tweaks to the front wing and suspension, but more comprehensive upgrades are expected through the summer.

But, despite these upgrades on the way for the W15, Russell said he doesn’t expect their impact to vault Mercedes forward into race challengers.

“We do have a few things coming in the short-term but nothing that is going to transform us into race-winners right now,” he said.

“I think we have to accept that we are the fourth-fastest team at the moment. The lap times and the championship don’t lie – this is where we are and I think we’re fighting for the P5-P8 region week in, week out now.”

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Asked for the specifics of the timeline as to when the upgrades for the W15 will be introduced, team boss Toto Wolff said they are still a few races away and opted against putting a firm date on their introduction.

“I think we know what we do and, in terms of what you’re bringing to the car, you can’t really rush it,” he said.

“Because you’ve got to get to the point where you can say now it’s good to be released into production.

“And once that part comes, or once it’s coming, they need to be sorted. So this is a matter of many weeks.”

Writing in his post-race column for Sky F1, commentator Martin Brundle said that the upgrades could make or break the rest of Mercedes’ season as he labeled the pace of the W15 as “confusing”.

“The Mercedes had good speed in the closing stages, but once again both [Lewis Hamilton] and George Russell had a weekend of confusing and highly variable pace,” he said.

“Mercedes have some upgrades coming which will define the rest of their season and maybe even 2025, and demonstrate whether or not they can define and fix what is wrong with the car.

“Here’s hoping they do, because the upgraded McLaren looks to be closer to Red Bull, and Ferrari is eagerly looking forward to their imminent upgrades too.”


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