George Russell suggests Mercedes upgrades could perform better in real life

Mercedes have introduced several upgrades to the W14 this weekend, as part of their highly anticipated new concept.

George Russell is targeting a strong performance at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, with the Briton set to get to grips with Mercedes’ new concept.

Russell and Lewis Hamilton have waited patiently for the new concept, with the duo having been highly critical of the direction the Silver Arrows went in at the start of the season.

The 25-year-old heads into the weekend having finished no higher than fourth all year, with him currently sitting behind his team-mate in the Drivers’ Championship.

Russell’s and Hamilton’s biggest issue so far this season has been a lack of confidence in the W14, something which the former Williams driver is hoping will improve following the introduction of the new concept.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

According to Russell, the new concept has looked “positive” so far in the simulator; however, the Mercedes driver has admitted that it could actually perform better than expected on the track this weekend than it was in the sim.

“What we’ve tried in the simulator so far has been positive,” said Russell, as reported by The Race.

“There’s both aero and mechanical [upgrades]. Aero, we’re talking about overall downforce which every team is chasing, so that is not necessarily guaranteed laptime but it’s definitely going to bring [relative] performance. The mechanical ones, we need to wait and see once we get on the track.

“There’s arguments to say it may deliver more on the track than it delivers on the sim because it’s going to be helping our confidence in driving the car.

Article continues below

“Whereas in the simulator, confidence isn’t really a limitation. So there’s merits in saying that potentially there’s more to be gained on the track than what we’ve seen on the sim.

READ: Christian Horner drops massive claim about Las Vegas GP

“We just need to re-evaluate next week and it’s always challenging because there’s a lot of talk around our updates, other teams are going to be bringing updates, especially next week. So I can’t imagine there will be a huge step in performance from anyone because we’re all moving those targets.”

Mercedes were set to introduce the new concept last weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix; however, the Brackley-based team were forced to change their plans following the cancellation of the event.

Some questioned why Mercedes opted to introduce the new concept this weekend in Monaco rather than at the more conventional Spanish Grand Prix next weekend, where more valuable data will be gathered.