George Russell (right) had a good race in Jeddah.

Mercedes technical director reveals when pursuit for podium began for George Russell in Jeddah

Mercedes technical director Mike Elliot has said that the team only went to the stewards after finding a video of Fernando Alonso not serving his penalty correctly during his pit stop.

There was late drama at the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP after the Aston Martin driver was stripped of his podium post the celebrations. Initially, the stewards decided to give the two-time world champion a ten-second penalty, which meant that Mercedes' George Russell took P3.


While debriefing the race on Mercedes' YouTube channel, Elliot revealed the reason behind their late call to the stewards. He said:

"At that stage, all we had seen was video footage of the penalty served by Aston Martin, and we could see that one of the mechanics had made contact with the car, and we didn’t know whether that would turn into a penalty or not. We also didn’t really know what penalty would be applied, while we thought it probably would be a 10-second penalty, it could also be a five-second penalty.
"So, both drivers were asked to push. In George's case, he got close to the five seconds, and in Lewis's case, he got close to the 10 seconds. Unfortunately, for us, the stewards decided there wasn’t actually a penalty to serve, and therefore it made no difference in the end anyway."

However, the stewards later overturned their decision and reinstated Alonso's P3 finish.


“I think, after Bahrain, we had to accept we weren’t where we wanted to be"- Mercedes technical director

Elliot says that the German team are not happy with their position and performance level after the opening race of the season. He also spoke about the team's situation regarding changing their car philosophy mid-season, adding:

“The simple answer is it means different things to different people. I think, after Bahrain, we had to accept we weren’t where we wanted to be, that we had to look at all the things that make up our car and work out what could we be doing differently, how could we get more performance, because there is a significant gap for us to catch up to the front.
“We’re looking at the mechanical set-up of the car; are there things there that we are missing? What else can we bring to the car that is going to add performance? And we’re trying to do that as fast as we possibly can, because we want to get back to the front."

It will be fascinating to see if Mercedes look any different from the current version after the first round of upgrades on the W14.

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