Mercedes taking inspiration from cars of ‘glory years’ for 2024 challenger

Henry Valantine
British Formula One driver George Russell of Mercedes-AMG Petronas steers his car during the qualifying ahead of Sunday's Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix auto race, at the Hungaroring racetrack in Mogyorod, near Budapest, Hungary.

2RDMBGN British Formula One driver George Russell of Mercedes-AMG Petronas steers his car during the qualifying ahead of Sunday's Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix auto race, at the Hungaroring racetrack in Mogyorod, near Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, July 22, 2023. (Marton Monus/Pool via AP)

George Russell has said Mercedes “suffered” during the Belgian Grand Prix as bouncing returned to their car, but they are taking inspiration from past cars as they look to the future.

Mercedes won eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships after the advent of the turbo hybrid era, but the rule reset in 2022 saw Red Bull and Max Verstappen take the reins at the front of the field while the Silver Arrows toiled by their high standards.

Russell has won the team’s only race since the start of Formula 1’s new era, at Sao Paulo last year, but while Mercedes have managed to establish themselves in second place in the Constructors’ standings this time around, they have less than half the points tally of runaway leaders Red Bull at the summer break stage.

Mercedes using cars from ‘glory years’ as inspiration for next season’s car

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Russell felt he was “boxed in” at the start of the weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, causing him to lose places at the start, and was happy to see the back of the weekend as the dreaded word ‘bouncing’ came out of his and Lewis Hamilton’s mouths after the race.

They were both able to cross the line and score more points for the team, but Russell admitted his direction at Mercedes has not been the right one in the past few rounds.

“I think this weekend validated probably the direction we’ve taken the setup in recent races hasn’t been the right one,” Russell told media including PlanetF1.com after the race.

“We suffered with a huge amount of bouncing today. A number of teams did, maybe not as severe as we did.

“Still obviously a bit of a shame to see that as a sport. At the pinnacle the majority of teams are still struggling with bouncing. I hope something can be solved in that regard in the future.”

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Looking further ahead, Mercedes have acknowledged that there is a lot of work to be done if they are going to catch Red Bull and Verstappen next time around.

With an increasing amount of focus being placed on the 2024 challengers throughout the field, Russell revealed that his team are looking back to the cars from their last generation for ideas of how to improve.

“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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