Toto Wolff’s concerning Mercedes comments as Lewis Hamilton talks drag on

George Russell has lacked confidence in the W14 and sits 49 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the championship.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has admitted that the W14 has proven to have “no sweet spot”, with the Austrian labelling it as a reason why George Russell has struggled this season.

Whilst the W14 is better than the team’s 2022 car, Russell has been weaker this year and finds himself behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Russell appeared to suit the W13 better than the W14, whereas Hamilton struggled to adjust to the 2022 car.

The tables have well and truly turned this season, with Hamilton sitting 49 points ahead of Russell.

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Wolff isn’t too sure what’s happened to Russell’s confidence this season, although the Austrian admits that this year’s car is “on the knife’s edge”.

“I don’t know. These cars are on the knife’s edge,” Wolff explained ahead of the summer break.

“You can quickly fall off it and lose the confidence. On the other side, if you’re within that corridor of sweet spot… having said that, that car has no sweet spot!

“But being more in that zone of understanding what it will do next, I think there’s a big difference and you can quickly be in either one of these situations, and obviously it goes against you.”

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Russell entered the summer break having finished sixth at the Belgian Grand Prix, whilst Hamilton finished fourth and contested for the final spot on the podium.

The 25-year-old has claimed just one podium so far in 2023, considerably lower than Hamilton’s four.

Russell’s only podium this season came after he finished third at the Spanish Grand Prix, a race which Hamilton ended in P2.

Hamilton has had the edge over Russell for the entirety of the campaign so far; however, the King’s Lynn-born driver is seemingly hopeful for a strong second half of the season.

He revealed that the team have a few “little things” to introduce when the racing resumes, with the target being to hold on to second in the Constructors’ Championship.

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“When you’re on the right foot, things are a little bit easier,” Russell said. “You’re not stressing, your car is in the right place when you put it on the ground.

“I’m sure we’re going to be strong in the second half of the season. We’ve got some little things coming in after the break.

“I’m confident we can secure that second-best team… to try and close that gap further.”