George Russell sends bullish message ahead of 2024 Saudi Arabian GP

At the Bahrain Grand Prix, Russell noted the positive morale within the team, contrasting sharply with the previous year's sentiment.

George Russell has expressed confidence in the Mercedes W15, describing it as a significant improvement over its predecessors and a true “race car” that allows for more aggressive aerodynamic setups.

Reflecting on the struggles of the past two years, Russell highlighted that the team faced challenges with the W13 and W14 models, particularly their ‘zero sidepod’ concept, which failed to meet expectations and proved difficult for engineers to move on from.

However, with the introduction of the W15, Mercedes seems to have turned a corner, providing a solid foundation for future development.

At the Bahrain Grand Prix, Russell noted the positive morale within the team, contrasting sharply with the previous year’s sentiment.

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He emphasized the importance of making the car faster, citing good correlation with the simulator and successful implementation of planned improvements.

Russell is optimistic about the potential for more aggressive aerodynamic strategies with the W15, suggesting that previous models felt like temporary fixes without addressing core issues.

Mercedes’ technical chief, James Allison, has also remarked on the car’s enhanced rear stability, an aspect that Russell confirmed exceeded expectations.

The W15’s design allows for adjustments, such as the adaptable front suspension, offering the team flexibility to optimize performance across different circuits.

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Lewis Hamilton’s feedback on the narrow sidepod concept and its impact on performance has been acknowledged by the team.

Russell, while not an aerodynamicist, acknowledged the importance of driver feedback in guiding the engineers’ efforts to overcome the car’s limitations.

He stressed the collaborative approach taken by himself and Hamilton to address issues and improve the car’s design.

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As Mercedes prepares for the 2024 season, the team is buoyed by the W15’s promising start and the potential for further enhancements.

Russell’s comments underscore a renewed sense of optimism within Mercedes, driven by significant design improvements and a more adaptable approach to race setups.

The focus remains on translating these developments into faster lap times and competitive performance on the track.