George Russell makes admission about Mercedes personnel change

Mercedes announced a reshuffle of their technical team ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as the Silver Arrows target a return to form.

George Russell has backed the team’s decision to make changes at its home base, bringing James Allison back to the team as technical director and moving Mike Elliott to chief technical officer.

Mercedes have announced the reshuffle after a disappointing start to the 2023 season saw them, once again, struggle to keep up with their Red Bull rivals.

The Silver Arrows did manage to scoop a podium in Australia, aided by the difficulties experienced by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during qualifying which forced him to start from the pitlane.

With Mercedes looking to change their approach in pursuit of a victory, Russell has welcomed the changes in its technical team.

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“I think it’s really good news, to be honest, because, obviously, Mike was the technical director and James was overseeing a few different projects. And now, effectively, we’ve got both of them full-time,” Russell told Sky Sports F1.

“Mike is one of, if not the most, intelligent blokes I’ve ever come across in my life. But I think placing him in this new role will really put him in his element.

“When it comes to a team sport, not just drivers, but managing 2000 people or talking about a football team, you need to get your best players in the right positions to get the overall team result.

“Effectively, that’s what this change has been so I think, in both regards, we’ve probably put both where they belong,” he added.

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Russell was clear to explain that any success or failure at Mercedes is not due to the performance of one individual but is based on the actions of the team as a whole.

“It is absolutely teamwork,” he said. 

“There are a number of people who contribute towards the overall decisions and feedback into the rest of the factory on the direction that we take, and James was involved in some of those conversations and decisions in the past.

“But it’s how the game goes, this was a team decision. Obviously, Lewis was saying you win and lose together and that’s truly how it is. 

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“There’s never one person accountable for any success or any failure – it is always the team.” 

Heading into Azerbaijan, Mercedes have found themselves in P3 in the Constructors’ Standings, chasing down Aston Martin.

With Hamilton starting ahead of Fernando Alonso, while George Russell is behind Lance Stroll, Sunday’s race could prove to be an entertaining battle between the two teams.