George Russell backs Mercedes as he denies ‘forgotten’ claim

Mercedes' run of eight constructors’ championship victories in a row came to an end in 2022, as the team finished third behind Red Bull and Ferrari.

Mercedes’ struggles were one of the biggest surprises of 2022, as the team got off to a slow start under the new regulations that came into effect at the start of the year.

The new era of Formula 1 started with Mercedes already looking significantly off of the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari while battling with a severe porpoising problem that was causing both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell a lot of pain.

Team principal Toto Wolff has recently revealed that the team’s efforts to stop the violet bouncing of the W13 cost the Silver Arrows half a seasons’ worth of development, which led to the team not being able to compete with the frontrunners until after the summer break.

George Russell has now suggested that he shares his team’s confidence of a return to the top in 2023, after Wolff told reporters that Mercedes are quietly confident of their chances of being at the level of their rivals next season, leaving 2022 as a one off disappointment.

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“They haven’t forgotten how to build a fast race car. We just got it wrong this year,” claimed the 24-year-old.

“We got the philosophy wrong. We went down a route which turned out to be the wrong route.

“Sometimes it takes you a long time to dig yourself out of that hole. Now I feel we’ve dug ourselves out of that. Hole and we’re building on top of that.

“We are a step behind Red Bull and Ferrari and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do – but we’re definitely going to be in a much stronger position from race one next year than we were this year,” he concluded.

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After finally managed to get on top of their porpoising problem at the midpoint of the season, Mercedes were able to focus on upgrading the W13 to become more competitive in the second half of the year.

Major upgrades brought to the Grand Prix in Austin saw the team finally able to compete for victories with Red Bull and in Brazil all of their hard work finally paid dividends, as Russell came home in P1 to spearhead a stunning one-two for Mercedes in Interlagos.

Having got his first taste of victory in 2022, Russell will be eager to finish on the top step of the podium on a regular basis next season, and might even have title ambitions having shown that he can beat his veteran teammate Lewis Hamilton over the course of a season this year.