"It's a killer to drive" - George Russell feels the Mercedes W13 is more than a 'diva'

F1 Grand Prix of Miami - George Russell in action
George Russell in action at the F1 Grand Prix of Miami
Aditya Talpade

George Russell claims his Mercedes W13 is a killer to drive, expressing his frustration with the porpoising problems that have plagued the team since the start of the season. The Briton claims the team's 2022 challenger is more than a 'diva' and is especially difficult to control in braking zones.

Russell and his teammate Lewis Hamilton finished P5 and P6 respectively at the 2022 Miami GP but were still considerably off the pace when compared to Red Bull and Ferrari. The former Williams driver started the race in P12 after a woeful qualifying session but managed to wrestle the W13 into P5 after getting lucky with a bold strategy involving a late safety car.

Addressing Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff's comments about the W13 being a 'diva', George Russell said:

“Toto [Wolff] is throwing the word diva around a lot, but I think that’s a bit of an understatement, because it’s so unpredictable. When the thing just starts bouncing in the corners, it’s a killer to drive.”

The team looked much more competent in Friday's FP2, with Russell having topped the session and Hamilton having finished in P4. The young Briton expressed his confusion over the differences in form between Friday and Sunday, saying:

“We’ve known all along there is a fast racing car there. Friday was a complete outlier, we don’t really understand why. Obviously, Lewis [Hamilton] did a better job than I on Saturday, qualified P6, but even fuel and power corrected, his fastest laps were on Friday, whereas every other driver improved over one second. My race pace was two tenths slower than [Charles] Leclerc on Friday, and on Sunday it’s back to half a second to a second, so I don’t know.”

George Russell opens up about battling Lewis Hamilton in Miami

Silver Arrows side-by-side in Miami ⚔️ Fun battle between Lewis and George last Sunday 👊

George Russell is on a bit of a hot streak at the moment, having been the only driver to have finished in the top-5 in all races so far this year. At the 2022 Miami GP, however, the young Briton suddenly found himself behind his teammate and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton on much fresher tires, allowing him to get past the world champion.

The 24-year-old was extremely cautious in trying to pass Hamilton, as a collision between the two would have been disastrous for the team. Speaking about his battle with Hamilton, George Russell said:

“When you’re battling with your team-mate, you’ve got to show respect, a bit more room than normal. The move was a bit tricky. I went a bit wide, but it’s so dirty off line around this circuit. Obviously it was clear I went off the track and had to do it all over again. I enjoyed it and I think there’s good respect between us. But Lewis was unlucky. When you are on 20-lap-old hard tyres there’s not a lot you can do really.”

Meanwhile, Mercedes is bringing an extensive upgrade package to Barcelona. The championship aspirations of the German team depend on the resolution of its car's issues in time. If the package brings Mercedes closer to the front two teams, we could have an interesting three-way championship battle on our hands.

What's your favorite race of the 2022 season so far? Tell us in the comments below..

Edited by Anurag C


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