Mercedes driver George Russell is still not satisfied with W14’s performance after the first two practice sessions at the Saudi Arabian GP. The Silver Arrows are struggling quite a bit in the early stages of the 2023 F1 season. This is mainly because the concept of their car is not performing as per their expectations.
Speaking to the media, including Sportskeeda, George Russell explained how Mercedes will try to maximize the package they have at the moment, even though it might not be the best one. He is well aware that the team won’t have more time to look into the issues and solve them before the Saudi Arabian GP. He said:
“I think you just can go out there [and] maximize the package you’ve got. Try and get the setup in the sweet spot. We’re not going to find a second overnight as much as I’d love to do that and all the hard work everybody’s putting in.”
💬 “We know everyone is working so hard at the factory. We will continue to go into the details overnight and give it everything we can here at the track.”
Lewis, George and Shov discuss Friday at the #SaudiArabianGP
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) March 17, 2023
Russell further added how the team of engineers back at the Brackley factory will look at the Saudi Arabian GP and take steps in a new direction. Mercedes will need to take a new path of development since their fundamental concept of the car has several faults. The Brit concluded:
“But we need to just continue to understand and recognise the sort of new direction we’re taking as a team, the correct one, and that’s for the guys and girls back at the factory and everybody here to unpick the data. But for me this weekend and sort of a small group of engineers, you just go out there and try and maximise what you’ve got.”
In the second practice session of the Saudi Arabian GP, George Russell finished fifth and Lewis Hamilton finished 11th. This shows how dire the situation looks for Mercedes.
Toto Wolff declares that he won’t complain if Lewis Hamilton leaves Mercedes in search of 8th world title
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff trusts the bond Lewis Hamilton has created with the team over the past decade. However, if the Brit wants to leave the team to pursue his eighth world title, Wolff won’t grouch and will understand the situation.
In an interview during the 2023 F1 Saudi Arabian GP weekend, where Sportskeeda was also present, Wolff said:
“As a driver, if he [Lewis Hamilton] wants to win another championship, he needs to make sure that he has the car, and if we cannot demonstrate that we can give him the car in the next couple of years then he needs to look everywhere – I don’t think that he’s at that stage but I would have no grouch if that happens in a year or two.”
Seeing @LewisHamilton for the first time can be special. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/Pi6RVu6JNg
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) March 16, 2023
Even since the new F1 regulations came into effect in 2022, Mercedes has been unable to build a championship-winning car. This sparked a flurry of rumors and speculation about Lewis Hamilton’s future with the team, as well as whether he would ever win his eighth championship.