George Russell pinpoints Mercedes fatal flaw in ‘mind-boggling’ Brazilian GP fiasco

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and George Russell picked up just four points at the 2023 Brazilian GP

-

George Russell admitted Mercedes made an error with their tyres and had been unable to course correct thanks to the sprint format at the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix as they recorded their worst weekend of the season.

Lewis Hamilton finished eighth in the grand prix unable to live with even Pierre Gasly‘s pace, while Russell was running out of the points managing an engine temperature issue that ultimately caused him to retire.

The only saving grace for Mercedes was Charles Leclerc‘s crash on the formation lap means Ferrari only closed by two points in the constructors’ championship, with the margin for second now at 20 points.

“It’s a mind-boggling weekend to understand, we had relatively high expectations coming into this weekend, and just absolutely no pace at all,” Russell told the press.

“Same car as the last five races so clearly got something wrong with the tyres and in the sprint race weekend when you get it wrong you can’t make amends on those issues.

“It’s so many question marks. It’s the exact same race car as what we’ve had since Austin, where the car’s been capable of podiums every race.

“Even before then, Singapore and Qatar we were capable of podiums. This is clearly a substantial one-off event but we need to understand what we got wrong because right now we don’t really know.”

Mercedes setup gamble didn’t pay off

Russell added Mercedes‘ aerodynamic setup didn’t help matters, as the W14 looked like it was running at half-speed in a straight line.

Russell nailed his setup to take victory at the 2022 Brazilian GP over Hamilton, but Mercedes‘ fall from grace could barely have been steeper 12 months on.

And that slow running caused intra-team problems too, as Russell accused Hamilton multiple times of sabotaging his race to further his own result.

All this after Mercedes‘ team principal Toto Wolff hinted the team could battle Red Bull and Max Verstappen for victory – Hamilton finished the race 63 seconds behind the Dutchman.

“We were definitely a sitting duck,” Russell added. “It was a choice we made to run a bit more downforce, when you run more downforce you’re meant to gain the speed through the corners, keep the tyres under control and that wasn’t the case.

“So we didn’t have the benefit we only had the negative side.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Driver Ratings — 2024 British GP

0
Lewis Hamilton finally ended his long wait for a race victory at the Formula 1 2024 British GP as...
George Russell leads the field into Turn 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Winners and Losers from the British GP

0
Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious in one of the most memorable races in recent Formula 1 history, which begs the...
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton masterclass proves he can take fight to Verstappen

0
Lewis Hamilton basked in the glory of his long-awaited victory at the British Grand Prix, celebrating in front of...
Max Verstappen looks on at the 2024 Austrian GP | Chris Graythen / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen rues ‘poor’ British GP as Red Bull battle rare issue

0
Max Verstappen conceded it was a "poor afternoon" for Red Bull at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix...
Lando Norris with engineers at 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

Are McLaren becoming ‘new Ferrari’ after another strategy blunder?

0
Lando Norris' media appearances after the British GP were a genuinely tough watch, with reporters seemingly counselling the 24-year-old...
Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes Max Verstappen on the podium after the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Lewis Hamilton: British GP win more crucial to Mercedes than Russell victory

0
Lewis Hamilton explained why he felt his victory at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix on Sunday was...
Carlos Sainz at the 2024 Austrian GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

F1 2024 British GP – Fastest Lap

0
Carlos Sainz snatched the fastest lap at the 2024 British GP at the final opportunity as an all-time classic...
Lando Norris during 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

F1 Standings after 2024 British Grand Prix

0
An emotional 2024 British Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton take a record-breaking win at Silverstone, outsmarting Lando Norris and...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 2024 British GP: Driver of the Day

0
There is a reason why the British Grand Prix remains the hottest attraction on the Formula 1 calendar and...
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

Hamilton outsmarts Verstappen and Norris to clinch record-breaking British GP win

0
Lewis Hamilton finally celebrated on the top step of the podium after a dramatic finale to the Formula 1...
- Advertisment -