Russell claims Mercedes car isn’t working after problematic Miami GP Friday

The Brit was 15th in the standings on qualifying simulations, considerably slower than his teammate


George Russell has claimed his Mercedes W14 Formula 1 car just isn’t working when he puts on the soft tyres at the Miami Grand Prix.

The Brit had topped FP1 on Friday morning with a last-gasp lap on the soft tyres but the pace was dropped considerably for the second session and Russell was left down in 15th, 1.2 seconds off Max Verstappen’s leading pace.

Russell also locked up on more than one occasion in a very eventful day for the Mercedes man which all began with a steering rack change during FP1.

“It was a similar thing last year,” Russell told the media after FP2 at the Miami GP. “We were quickest on Friday and then we were knocked out in Q2 on Saturday.

“Even on the medium run in FP2 I felt strong, I was on a lap that was a couple of tenths up and would have put me in the top four.

“But then I put the soft tyres on and the car just isn’t working. I think we understand a little bit what that is and fortunately, we’ve got the time to make improvements overnight.”

Difficult to race in Miami

With the Miami International Autodrome only ever used once a year, the track is often very dirty off line and that makes any tiny error open for severe punishment.

The lack of a support series in 2023 after W Series‘ demise heightened the issue for F1 with all cars losing grip any time they ventured away from the correct line leaving Russell anticipating a tough race on Sunday.

“I think we’ll go into Sunday in a bit of unknown,” Russell added. “The track has been resurfaced and it’s still not performing like any other circuits.

“It’s a true outlier here which is cool in some regards but it could be really difficult to race because you can’t drive off the racing line. You put one wheel off and there’s no grip whatsoever.”

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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