Mercedes driver George Russell has revealed the team have made “really good findings” of late that could prove “very promising” for their 2024 car.
Red Bull have been the dominant force in Formula 1 since the switch to ground effect aerodynamics at the start of 2022, with Mercedes having struggled to keep up with the Milton Keynes-based team throughout.
They sit second in this season’s Constructors’ Championship, but Red Bull – especially in Max Verstappen’s hands – still hold a significant advantage at the front of the field.
Mercedes addressing ‘number of flaws’ from W14 in next year’s W15
Mercedes will go into the winter months with a significant gap to make up to Red Bull, but the stability in regulations means it leaves a tough job for any team to catch the reigning World Champions, given their ability to further improve on the base the RB19 has given them.
But after trials of multiple concepts, Russell believes Mercedes are now finding a “very promising” path aerodynamically which could help them on their way, and he spoke of his confidence that the team won’t “make a mistake” in car concept, as he feels they have done in the past two years.
“Yeah, I believe so,” Russell said when asked if he feels the gap to Red Bull can be made up over the winter months.
“I think when we look at our car we see a number of flaws in it. It’s not like we’re looking at it scratching our heads thinking, ‘Where can we improve it?’
“We think there’s loads of places that we can improve it. We’ve made some really good findings recently with regards to the aero of the car and some of the bits and pieces on the car, which is looking very promising.
“But we can never promise what we’re going to deliver over the winter in terms of a result, because it’s a relative game.
“We can only focus on ourselves, but I’m extremely confident in my team. Very confident in the decision-makers and the direction we’re heading, that we’ve made some really great learnings, and we won’t trip up and make a mistake as we have done these past few seasons.”
On the other side of the garage, Lewis Hamilton has also been vocal in his views on the W14 this season, with the car having proved temperamental this season.
He has reiterated his support for Mercedes behind the scenes at Brackley and Brixworth as they look to close the gap to Red Bull.
He is urging more caution, given the unknown of where Red Bull will be performance-wise at the start of next year, but he is holding out hope of being closer come the start of next year.
“I have 100% faith in the guys, the team back in the factory working away on it. And who knows? I mean, we don’t know where they are or where they’re progressing to.
“I think we just have to focus on our job and not necessarily so focused on necessarily closing that gap. It’s going to be what it is. By the time we get to the first race, hopefully it is closed.”