George Russell is keen to see Mercedes avoid a messy end to qualifying at the 2023 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix.
2022 saw both Russell and his Silver Arrows teammate Lewis Hamilton crash in Q3, leaving them with an uphill battle in the sprint and main races. Hamilton eventually finished third with Russell directly behind him in fourth but a messy qualifying did not help their chances of more.
The Brit knows that a new year brings new challenges even though the venue is unchanged and the added threat of rain over the weekend could be vital for Mercedes and their rivals.
“It’s got a combination of different corners,” Russell told the media ahead of the Austrian GP. “Being on a hill it’s quite exposed to the wind and you can get caught out.
“But it’s the same for everybody. Last year wasn’t our finest qualifying session but we had a good race and this year is going to be a different dynamic again with the weather that might be here throughout the weekend.”
Mercedes started the 2023 F1 season very much on the back foot but have made big strides since to sit second in the constructors’ standings.
The speed the W14 showed in Canada was a prime example of that on a track not necessarily suited to the German manufacturer’s strengths.
“Going from Barcelona which suits us down to a tee to Canada which is a totally opposite circuit, to see we still had really good pace and were fighting with the Astons, Max didn’t seem too far ahead either,” Russell added.
“Things are definitely going in the right direction. This will be another interesting weekend with a sprint race it’s never straightforward but I think as a team we are making progress.”