George Russell gives prediction on impact of new Mercedes upgrades

Mercedes brought a radical new sidepod design to the 2023 Monaco GP

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George Russell has played down hopes of an instant Mercedes revival despite bringing a new upgrade package to 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.

After struggling with its original concept, Mercedes elected to bring several upgrades for the European season, with the most notable change being a more conventional sidepod concept.

“We’re aware that this is a very one-of-a-kind circuit,” said Russell told select members of the media, including Total-Motorsport.com. “We’re not going to read anything into the performance of the new updates.

“There are always outliers in teams who overperform around a track like Monaco and teams who underperform around Monaco, but ultimately, we don’t design a car to be at its peak in Monaco.

“So we just need to get through the weekend and take a review once we get to Barcelona and then go from that.”

Tyres need to make drivers’ lives challenging.

Whilst teams continue to bring upgrades, F1’s official tyre supplier Pirelli will also bring a new compound of slick tyres for the British GP in early July.

So far in 2023, Pirelli’s three compounds of tyres have been able to last for long periods of the race, making the drivers’ lives much more straightforward.

“It is very challenging for Pirelli,” said Russell. “Because we complained for a while the other tyre wasn’t good enough, too much surface overheating dropping off too much degradation. 

“Now with the C2 tyre, [we can] seemingly do a full race distance everywhere we go and not offering a lot of excitement.

“In an ideal world, you have a tyre that’s strong and offers good performance, but then it falls off a cliff at a certain point, and you’re forced to pit, and that for sure is very challenging for Pirelli. 

“I think now we’re at a point where the tyre is too robust, and it’s making everybody’s lives easy.”

Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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