George Russell reveals silver lining of early season Mercedes struggles

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton are both struggling to extract performance from the Mercedes W14.

George Russell believes Mercedes are in a “lot better” position than they were at the start of last season, with the 25-year-old expecting the Germans to once again produce a “spectacular” comeback to the front.

Mercedes failed to immediately bounce back from 2022 at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, with the Silver Arrows having slipped to fourth in the pecking order behind Aston Martin.

Russell had to settle for seventh whilst Lewis Hamilton finished fifth, with Mercedes already reportedly considering a change to the concept of the W14.

The former Williams driver isn’t expecting his side to be as far behind at every round, though, with the Bahrain International Circuit being “very unique”.

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“I think the way you saw our development last year with Mercedes was pretty, pretty spectacular over the course of the year,” he explained to media, including

“It is a very unique circuit in Bahrain, and I’ll be surprised if the gaps are that large at other circuits, but I trust in our team and if we develop at the same rate as we did last year, we’re definitely starting from a higher point.

“But I think the good thing is there’s not too many races at the start of the season so it gives us some time to develop in the wind tunnel and back at the factory to fight for when the main block of races come [starting with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in late April].”

Russell is confident that 2023 won’t be a repeat of 2022 and that “more victories” are possible this season, but he does admit that the Germans have a “little bit of catching up to do”.

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“When we look at where we were this time last year, we had so many problems with the car that we didn’t know how to resolve,” Russell explained.

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“We thought we’d resolve them a little bit quicker than we did, maybe after six races, we thought we would resolve them but realistically, it took until probably Austin until we took a big step forward.

“Now we’re starting from a base which is fundamentally a lot better than we were last year, so if we managed to achieve a race win last year starting from such a low point, there’s no reason why we can’t achieve more victories.

“But it is a relative game, Red Bull are looking really strong and we’ve got a little bit of catching up to do.”