George Russell downbeat on Mercedes chances in Canada

The Silver Arrows claimed second and third in Spain but a similar result could be tough in Canada


George Russell is not expecting a repeat of Mercedes‘ double podium in Spain at the 2023 Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix.

The Silver Arrows were the closest challengers to Max Verstappen in Barcelona, albeit a distance behind the reigning world champion, in their strongest race of the season so far.

The strengths of the W14 suited the Spanish circuit’s idiosyncrasies but Russell fears the very different Circuit Gilles Villeneuve may wield a worse result and performance.

“If we are the second fastest team again this weekend, that will be a real confidence boost for us going into the remainder of the season,” Russell told the media ahead of the Canadian GP.

“If you look at Barcelona, that’s a very medium to high-speed circuit, smooth surface and with the three hardest tyres whereas here it’s the three softest tyres, all low-speed corners and bumpy with all the kerbs.

“On paper, I wouldn’t say this suits our strengths but we’re not focused on Aston Martin and Ferrari, we’re focused on Red Bull.”

Size does not matter

There has been some talk about the current generation of F1 cars being too big for certain circuits but Russell doesn’t see size as an issue given the safety requirements in an F1 car.

“There’s two factors. One is performance, you want the car to be as fast as possible,” Russell added. “But I mentioned it before, the safety of these cars.

“We’ve been making the cars safer and safer but that’s meant they get heavier as well so this is where the engineers and the FIA need to find the perfect compromise.

“I don’t find the size of the cars an issue, it’s only when you go to Singapore, Monaco that you really feel the size of them.”

Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis is a motorsport journalist with experience working in BTCC. He is the resident IndyCar correspondent for and a top class F1 writer.
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