George Russell is the latest from Mercedes to voice his hopes for a good showing at the British GP but he concedes “Red Bull and Ferrari will be ahead”.
Mercedes’ season has been blighted by porpoising, the Brackley squad with its zero-pod W13 suffering more than most with the bouncing phenomenon that is a consequence of ground effect aerodynamics.
Costing the team downforce as they have had to raise the ride height of the car, the severity of the bouncing is track dependent with the team experience it to the extremes in Monaco and again in Baku.
After a solid Canadian Grand Prix, one in which Lewis Hamilton finished third and declared that the bouncing had been reduced to “2G to 3G at most”, the team is hoping that trend continues at Silverstone.
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“Silverstone should be a bit smoother, a bit more of a high speed circuit, it will play slightly more in our favour,” Russell told the F1 Nation podcast.
“But,” he concedes, “ultimately, Red Bull and Ferrari will be ahead.”
The former Williams driver is confident that in his W13 there is a good car as Mercedes have shown better race pace than they have qualifying performances.
But, he says, the bouncing isn’t helping them.
“There are clearly strengths within our car,” he said, “we were clearly good in our race pace, relatively speaking… I think we’re the only team to close the gap to the front runners on a Sunday rather than the gap expanding.
“And when it’s in the right window, the actual balance through the corners is pretty nice to drive.
“But when you’re going down the straights and your teeth are rattling out and you’re feeling every single, tiny stone on the track and it rattles through your body, you’re sort of at one with the car, you’re trying to be silky smooth with the tyres and you’re still near breaking inputs.
“But when you just being shaken around, you sort of feels like you’re on an uncomfortable roller coaster.”
Mercedes are third in the Constructors’ Championship with 188 points, 116 behind Red Bull.