George Russell has dispelled the common notion that drivers are primarily responsible for developing Formula 1 cars, emphasising the integral role played by the “smart and intelligent” individuals working behind the scenes in the factory.
As the 2023 season ramps up, teams are in full development mode, striving to enhance the performance of their cars since their debut in Bahrain, with Mercedes having made significant strides.
In Monaco, Mercedes unveiled a B-spec car, originally intended for the canceled Imola race. However, it was during the Spanish Grand Prix that fans witnessed the true potential of the upgraded car.
Russell secured an impressive third-place finish, with his teammate Lewis Hamilton ahead in second, although the duo were still trailing far behind race winner Max Verstappen.
Russell refused taking any personal credit for the car’s development, clarifying that, “Of course, at every race and every drive on the track, we give our feedback and express what we need from the car and areas that require improvement.”
The British driver also highlighted the importance of simulator work, acknowledging its usefulness in car development, emphasising his dedication to investing substantial time in the simulator to contribute to the team’s progress.
Nonetheless, Russell claimed that the ultimate responsibility for delivering results lies with the brilliant designers and engineers who interpret the feedback they receive.
“Ultimately, it’s up to the smart and intelligent designers and engineers to deliver the results, in the direction that Lewis and I and the lead engineers have set by saying what we need,” Russell said, contradicting Hamilton’s earlier comments.
The upgrades have propelled Mercedes higher up the grid, leading former champion Damon Hill to suggest that they now rank as the second-fastest team in the sport.
Russell believes there is still more to come, expressing excitement about the upcoming race at Silverstone, with the Brit anticipating being in a competitive position to fight for a strong outcome.
“I think we’ll be in a good place there to fight for a good result. We might have a couple more things coming for Silverstone, he added.
“But we need to not get too carried away with just this one result. The team have done an amazing job to bring these upgrades.
“I think Aston and Ferrari probably underperformed a little bit in the race today. So let’s see what the next races bring, but definitely a great step forward.”