Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed that he doesn’t believe in such things as a loss of form, amid George Russell’s recent performances.
Nothing appears to be going Russell’s way recently, with the 25-year-old continuing to drop points to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The W14 just hasn’t worked for Russell so far this season, neither has the new philosophy introduced at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Whilst Hamilton has made a significant step in the right direction since Monaco, Russell has plateaued.
Russell himself has recognised that his form currently isn’t great, no matter how good his pace is.
This was evident last weekend at the Dutch Grand Prix, where Russell actually looked very strong in qualifying.
He did well to qualify third for the race, which he briefly led in the opening stages.
However, a Mercedes blunder cost Russell, as the team left it several laps before pitting him for Intermediates.
This dropped him outside the top 10, leaving him with work to do.
Russell did well to recover to seventh, before a light collision with Lando Norris resulted in a puncture for the Mercedes driver.
He limped back to the pits for a new wheel, before finishing the race in a miserable 17th.
If it wasn’t for Mercedes’ error at the start of the race, then a podium would’ve been on the cards.
Wolff therefore knows that Russell has lots of pace, something he’s “never doubted”, with the Austrian therefore not believing in the concept of losing form.
“I’ve never bought into this thought,” Wolff said.
“When you and I are having a bad day nobody knows but if a driver has a bad day and he’s probably a tenth off, that makes all the difference in the qualifying.
“So all drivers have days that are not so good and we’ve seen these ups and downs with George but the quality of driver I’ve never doubted a minute.
“[In qualifying] he was able to shine, put the car on P3, had a problem-free qualifying and no traffic so I haven’t seen any pattern change.”
Whilst Wolff doesn’t believe in it, Russell seemingly does, with the team principal having revealed that he’s trying to convince the driver that he “hasn’t lost his form”.
“I’m trying to really bang it into his head that he hasn’t lost his form, that it is just the myth that he’s making up,” Wolff said.
“You don’t unlearn to drive and you don’t lose your form. You can have ups and downs like all of us have but every single weekend when things have gone against him, it was pretty clear why that was and it wasn’t the driving.”