Ex-Formula 1 driver Timo Glock is confident that George Russell isn’t “struggling mentally”, despite having endured a massively underwhelming season.
After stunning the paddock in his first season for Mercedes in 2022, the ex-Williams driver has had to readjust his barings somewhat, as Lewis Hamilton has very much gotten back on top.
In 2022, Russell remarkably became just the third team-mate of Hamilton’s to finish above him in the Drivers’ Championship, something which he’s failed to do again in 2023.
Hamilton currently sits third in the standings, whilst Russell is down in eighth and is 70 points behind the seven-time World Champion.
With just a maximum of 52 points available across the final two races, Hamilton has regained his spot as the lead Mercedes driver.
Russell has just seemed to struggle with the W14 this season, whilst he’s also experienced considerable bad luck at times.
The recent Brazilian Grand Prix was proof of this, as he was forced to retire due to concerns with his power unit.
Glock just feels that Mercedes’ progress with the W14 has suited Hamilton better than Russell, to the extent that the King’s Lynn-born driver “can’t get 100% out of the package”.
“I don’t think he’s struggling mentally, I think things just didn’t work out for him this year,” Glock told PlanetF1.com.
“He was unlucky in a couple of races and the development just maybe doesn’t fit his driving style at the moment, or maybe he just can’t get 100% out of the package at the moment.
“You could hear, from Austin on, that the steps they did at Mercedes just sort of work better for Lewis than for George.
“But, on the other side, it is very difficult to get things right in with a car which, every time, performs differently. I mean, if you see the pace they had in Mexico, and then they show up in Brazil and they’re nowhere, let’s say, you can see that the window of the car is very small.
The W14’s inconsistent performances has also made life very challenging for Russell, as Mercedes have struggled to figure out why the car varies in pace so drastically at particular circuits.
This was evident in the last few races, as the Silver Arrows were rapid at the Circuit of the Americas and in Mexico City, whilst they were suddenly woeful in Interlagos.
Glock notes that this makes life even more difficult for a driver, as in Russell’s case it’s tough to “get in the right direction”.
Whilst the German recognises that Hamilton is currently in a better place than the young Brit, he isn’t under the impression that Russell is “mentally struggling”.
“They still don’t understand 100 percent why they are quick and why they are slow. So that makes it difficult as well, for a driver to get in the right direction,” Glock added.
“I think, at the moment, it’s just the pure feeling that seems to be better for Lewis. George is just struggling a bit more to get in the right direction with the car.
“I think if they have a car, which is 100 percent understandable and logical, then for sure they will be closer together again.
“I don’t think George is in a situation where he would mentally struggle, I think he knows that he’s quick enough. He knows what to do. But, at the moment, the tools are just not working the right way, I would say.”