Mercedes’ Mike Elliott explains possible reason for George Russell’s struggles

Sam Cooper
George Russell with his hood up. Spa, Belgium. July 2023.

George Russell with his hood up. Spa, Belgium. July 2023.

Mike Elliott has backed George Russell to overcome his recent struggles with the Mercedes car as Lewis Hamilton continues to excel.

Russell beat all expectations last season when he proved the more able driver in terms of getting performance out of an underwhelming car and beat Hamilton for points.

But this year has been a different story with Hamilton having made it to the podium on four occasions compared to Russell’s one.

George Russell backed to overcome ‘hard to drive’ W14

Russell has been open about his struggles to find his groove with the current iteration of the W14. Speaking ahead of the summer shutdown, Russell said things are easier when you are not “stressing” about the car.

“When you’re on the right foot, things are a little bit easier. You’re not stressing, your car is in the right place when you put it on the ground,” he said.

“I’m sure we’re going to be strong in the second half of the season. We’ve got some little things coming in after the break. I’m confident we can secure that second-best team… to try and close that gap further.”

Technical chief Mike Elliott has sympathy for Russell, noting that these current era of cars are very hard to drive.

“I think these cars are hard to drive and they’re running close to the ground,” he told media including “And it’s tricky to sort of find that right balance through the corner. It’s tricky to do [that] with the stiffness of the cars.

“George is a fantastic driver so I’m sure he’ll get what he needs to get out of the car fairly quickly.” recommends

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Elliott is not the only member of the Mercedes senior staff to explain Russell’s run of form as down to the difficulty of these cars with CEO and team principal Wolff noting that a driver can quickly lose confidence.

“These cars are on the knife’s edge,” Wolff said.

“You can quickly fall off it and lose the confidence. On the other side, if you’re within that corridor of sweet spot… having said that, that car has no sweet spot!

“But being more in that zone of understanding what it will do next, I think there’s a big difference and you can quickly be in either one of these situations, and obviously it goes against you.”

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