George Russell has admitted ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix that Mercedes aren’t “really thinking” about a fight for second with Aston Martin and Ferrari, with their “sights being set on Red Bull”.
Since introducing their new concept at the Monaco Grand Prix, the Silver Arrows have certainly been a team on the rise.
They demonstrated this emphatically at the Spanish Grand Prix, where Russell and Lewis Hamilton secured the team’s first double podium since the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Whilst the Germans were very pleased with the double podium, they did have a feeling that the W14 would work at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, due to its mix of medium and high-speed corners.
With that in mind, the Canadian GP isn’t expected to be a very good one for Mercedes, due to low-speed corners being an issue for them.
The Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve consists of several low-speed corners and a high-speed straight, meaning the chances of another double podium are slim.
Mercedes are aware though, that this weekend will be a challenging one, with Russell admitting that being second in the pecking order come Sunday “will be a real confidence boost”.
“I think if we are the second fastest team this weekend that will be a real confidence boost for us going into the remainder of the season,” Russell said.
“Because if you look at it factually, you go from Barcelona that’s a very medium to high-speed circuits, a really smooth layout and you’re on the three hardest tires, whereas here you’re on the three softest tires, all low-speed corners and a really bumpy circuit with the curbs.
“So on paper, I wouldn’t say this would suit our strengths but we would take confidence out of that.
“We’re not really thinking about Aston Martin and Ferrari, our sights are set on Red Bull and Verstappen, and as satisfying as our weekend was getting a double podium finish, by Monday morning that was kind of history and you’re already looking forward to ‘When’s the next improvement? How are we going to close that gap?’
“Probably we still need to find half a second if we want to catch them up and overtake.”