Amidst the recent upheavals on the Formula 1 circuit, Dutch racing driver and F1 pundit, Tom Coronel, has cast his insights into George Russell’s struggles, asserting that the British driver’s challenges extend beyond the scope of Mercedes’ major upgrade.
While Russell demonstrated promise with a podium finish in Spain following the Monaco Grand Prix’s new package introduction, his performances have since been eclipsed by his seven-time champion teammate, Lewis Hamilton.
Tom Coronel addressed the intriguing dynamics between Russell and his Mercedes car, emphasising that the complexities of performance go beyond the tangible enhancements brought by the upgrade.
Speaking candidly on the RacingNews365 podcast, Coronel expressed his view, saying, “Russell is very disappointing, what happened there?
“It’s not just down to the upgrade, it’s also down to the mindset you have with your engineer for what direction you’re going with the car.”
Delving into the intricacies of driver-engineer collaboration, Coronel highlighted the intangible yet crucial role of the driver’s mindset in shaping race outcomes.
He elaborated, “You sometimes have those moments when you’re just missing the feeling.”
While acknowledging the significance of the upgrade, Coronel indicated that a harmonious synergy between the driver’s approach and car setup plays a pivotal role in translating potential improvements into concrete results.
Challenging the notion that upgrades can selectively favor one driver over another, Coronel emphasised the universality of grip and its impact on performance.
“Grip is grip,” he asserted, debunking the idea that personal driving preferences would be the sole determinant of success.
Coronel’s perspective questioned the rationale behind drivers’ desires for understeer or oversteer characteristics in their cars, underscoring the consistency of fundamental mechanics that govern all Formula 1 vehicles.
With a keen understanding of the intricacies of racing, Coronel drew attention to the nuanced interplay between engineering decisions and stopwatch results.
“Only, you and your engineer may have just chosen a direction or set-up that you think feels nice, but somehow it can’t come out on the stopwatch and that’s what my gut tells me about Russell,” he explained.
Coronel’s perspective underscores the balance between subjective driver preferences and objective performance metrics.
Coronel’s final assessment tackled the abruptness of Russell’s performance downturn, casting doubt on the notion of sudden and drastic performance deterioration.
He questioned the plausibility of an instantaneous and significant loss of speed, emphasising that such stark declines are uncommon and warrant a closer examination of the underlying factors at play.