George Russell is hoping that Mercedes can return to its former glory in 2024 following two difficult seasons for the marque.

Stepping up to a coveted seat with the Silver Arrows for 2022 alongside seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, Russell’s arrival coincided with the end of Mercedes’ eight-season-long reign of dominance as Constructors’ champions.

Since then, Russell has picked up nine grand prix podiums for Mercedes, including a maiden Formula 1 victory at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix on a weekend he also claimed Sprint victory.

Russell’s exploits in the W13 remain the German outfit’s sole victory since the series returned to ground effect machinery.

Mercedes’ collapse since 2022 has largely been attributed to the pursuit of the failed ‘zeropod’ philosophy which was abandoned ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix in 2023.

While the pivot has yielded a marked increase in performance for Mercedes, who currently sit second in the standings, the reintroduction of sidepods has not proved to be a silver bullet for the W14 which has faced a myriad of other limitations in an inconsistent 2023.

“I think 12 months on, we have 12 months further information, direction, and we’ve managed to implement some of these changes we want for 2024 in certain tests so far this year,” said Russell speaking to the media ahead of last weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

“I think the work that we’ve put into 2024, we’ve been a lot more thorough with our assessment of every single decision. The car was nowhere close to where we wanted it to be for the last season and we felt a lot needed to change.

“We perhaps rushed a couple of decisions without thoroughly testing it on the simulator going through the potential consequences.”

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19.
05.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Race Day.
–, EMail: © Copyright: Coates / XPB Images

Branded as Mercedes’ worst weekend in 13 years by Team Principal Toto Wolff, last weekend’s race at Interlagos exposed the struggles that both Lewis Hamilton and Russell have experienced with the W14.

The team suffered an unexpected drop-off in performance on Sunday which saw Hamilton slump to eighth, and Russell withdrawn from contention in the latter stages amid concerns over rising engine temperatures.

Wolff took the torrid Sao Paulo reason weekend as validation for Mercedes’ plans to develop a brand new concept for its next challenger, the W15.

“We were just trying so many different things and it was more quantity over quality testing last year,” Russell divulged.

“Whereas this year, we’ve really nailed down on the direction we want to go, we’ve thoroughly tested that process to kind of triple check that this is the direction we’re taking.

“I’m confident 12 months later, we’ve now got two years worth of learning and I hope we’re not going to be caught out by anything going into next year, this doesn’t mean that we’re going to have the fastest car on the grid.

“It just means I don’t think we’re going to stumble at the first hurdle.”

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