George Russell criticises ‘lame horse’ Mercedes after Australia DNF

Mercedes sit in third place in the Constructors’ Championship after three races, having found themselves far off the pace of Red Bull.

George Russell has been open in his thoughts on the new W14, calling in a “lame horse” that is likely to “throw you off,” rather than help him win races.

Russell has had a difficult opening to the 2023 season finishing in seventh in Bahrain, fourth in Saudi Arabia and suffering a DNF in Australia. 

After three races, Russell is down in seventh place in the Drivers’ Standings, a significant drop from his P4 finish in the title race last season.

“It is comparable to riding a horse. A Mercedes is a faster horse than a Williams. But it’s not just about speed. Riding a horse from A to B and it doesn’t zig is like sitting in a Formula One car that suits your driving style. One merges into another,” Russell said.

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“At the moment, however, we have a lame horse. We know that it has a lot of performance in it, but it is not happy that someone wants to ride it and the way of riding style does not suit him either,” he added.

Russell isn’t the only one who has raised concerns about the car and its ability to perform. 

His teammate Lewis Hamilton has complained about feeling disconnected with the car. 

“I’m here as late as I can be every day, I’m preparing the best we can, and I get in the car and I just can’t connect with it. I don’t really know what to say about it,” Hamilton said after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

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“When you’re driving, you feel like you’re sitting on the front wheels which is one of the worst feelings to feel when you’re driving a car,” he added.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has stated that the team is listening to the concerns raised by its drivers and working to address the performance issues with the car.

“When a seven-time World Champion has an opinion, it’s important to listen to it,” Wolff said when asked about Hamilton’s comments.