Russell’s 2022 Mercedes W13 is a ‘great’ fit

Date published: February 23 2022 - Michelle Foster

George Russell profile photograph Mercedes. February 2022

Having squeezed his body, and most notably his feet, into the W11 two years ago, George Russell is happy to reveal this year’s W13 is a much better fit.

Although Russell is making his full Mercedes debut this season, he has already contested one grand prix for the Silver Arrows, the Briton having filled in for Lewis Hamilton at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix when the latter tested positive for Covid-19.

It was a rather uncomfortable weekend for Russell, the driver forced into wearing race boots that were size too small in order to fit in the cockpit. He still qualified P2 and bagged his first F1 points with a P9 on what was a wretched Sunday for Mercedes in the pits.

The good news for Russell is that there will be no need to squeeze into the 2022 Mercedes F1 car this season as having already put in his first laps in the new W13, Russell says it is a perfect fit.

“I think there was actually a regulation change this year as well, that there was a minimum volume for the cockpit size to get around this issue,” he said.

“Whether they were compromises or not, I think we knew fairly early on that I would be driving – the foundation of the car was with a bigger chassis. So you learn to adapt and get around it.

“Obviously, the smaller chassis you have, naturally, the faster you will be. But, to my understanding, we are at the limit of the regulation, as every other team is in that department.

“I fit it great. Previously it wasn’t so easy, but so far so good!”

Russell is one of the tallest drivers on the grid, standing at 1.85 metres tall.

This season the Briton has a new team-mate in Hamilton, Russell promoted up the grid after his three-year apprenticeship with Williams.

He’s hoping their similar driving styles will help when it comes to the development of the all-new W13.

“I think we’re pretty similar,” he said of their driver styles. “Time will tell.

“When I’m asked, ‘What is my driving style’, I don’t really know because I want to be adaptable to a situation. I wouldn’t say [I’m] especially smooth, but, equally, I wouldn’t say [I’m] very aggressive either.

 

“From what I’ve seen, I do think we have a similar way of driving, where we always try and find the limit of the tyre, but not often trying to go over the limit.

“[We’re] pretty smooth in our general approach… time will tell, but I think we’ll be in a very similar boat. I have no doubt that we’ll be working well together.”

 

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