Why George Russell does not care about Mercedes’ new W15 look

Sam Cooper
Mercedes' W15

George Russell says substance over style is the team's focus.

George Russell has no interest in the new Mercedes livery with the Brit stating the “one thing” the team cares about is the lap time.

The 26-year-old took to the track in the W15 for the first time on Wednesday at Silverstone but it was only a minor foray before pre-season testing begins next week.

For Russell though, he has stated the one concern for the whole team is lap time as they look to return to the sport’s summit.

George Russell focused on substance over style with Mercedes W15

The W15 has a lot of pressure on its shoulders as it has been billed as the car to overturn Mercedes’ run of form of the last two seasons. After eight consecutive Constructors’ championships, Mercedes fell away dramatically in 2022, finishing P3 before P2 in 2023.

The new car then, which is radically different from the one that started the season last year, is hoped to return Mercedes to the summit and Russell confirmed that was the only thing anyone in the team cared about.

“It’s been months and months of hard work,” Russell said. “Seeing the car in the wind tunnel, driving the car in the simulator, seeing the livery on a computer screen and sort of seeing it all come to life as one.

“It feels like a true honour to get the chance to drive a car for the first time but then also that anticipation of how it’s going to perform because it doesn’t matter how good it looks.

PlanetF1.com recommends

Unveiling Mercedes’ new front wing: The Story behind the legality wire

Lewis Hamilton lays out the ‘dream’ ahead of his final season with Mercedes

“We’ve put some hard work into it but there’s only one thing we all care about and that’s lap time.”

Russell was speaking before heading to the Silverstone track but did confirm what they hoped to get out of the brief testing.

“Today is more to sign a car off,” he said. “Just making sure it runs, there’s no fundamentals. I’m sure it’ll run smoothly ahead of testing next week in Bahrain.

“So you want to get out there and drive it in anger, but unfortunately, it’s not really the case. Getting some filming for the sponsors and then time will tell next week.”

Russell is heading into his third season with Mercedes having won his first race in F1 in that time, the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

Read next: First look at Mercedes W15 on-track as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in action