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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 24: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 24, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

Russell happy with Mercedes performance despite ‘shaking’ W15

The Silver Arrows enjoyed a good Friday session, with Hamilton topping the timesheets in FP1

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Mercedes driver George Russell was happy with Mercedes’ performance in FP1 and FP2, despite encountering a “shaking” W15 car during both sessions.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 24: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 24, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.
Russell was experiencing shaking under braking (Image Credit: Peter Fox – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

The Brackley team have had a tough start to their 2024 campaign. However, the first two practice sessions in Monaco went smoothly for the Silver Arrows.

Lewis Hamilton topped FP1 and finished second in FP2, showing the clear pace of the W15. Meanwhile, Russell finsihed in third and 10th respectively.

The whole thing was shaking

As smooth as the lap times may have suggested, Russell’s experience in his W15 was certainly not a smooth one. The Briton had to abort his fastest attempt in FP2, due to going too deep at the Nouvelle Chicane under braking.

The Mercedes driver was asked about his experience in his W15 with all the shaking. He responded to F1TV:

“As soon as I touched the brakes, the whole thing was shakingto bits. So I don’t know what was going on.”

“I tried my best, holding it [the wheel] was hard as I could, but the thing kept shaking.

“So, you know, on a track like this where you need confidence to attack, it really set us back and we just decided to call it a day during the long run and analyse what was going on.”

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 24: George Russell, Mercedes F1 W15 during practice at the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 24, 2024 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Russell and Hamilton both believe it is one of the best Friday’s they’ve had (Image Credit: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Images)
Best Friday this year

Both Hamilton and Russell have had to cope with the W15 not performing as well as their rival teams this year. However, it was the first time this year seeing Mercedes up there at the top. Russell was asked whether he was “pleasantly surprised” with how well the W15 was performing around the streets of Monte Carlo.

“Today’s been one of our best Friday’s, no doubt. The car’s feeling the best I’ve ever felt around Monaco.

“There’s lots of positives. Everyone’s developing so quickly at the moment and we see how quick the lap times are today compared to last year.

“We’re way, way quicker, potentially even breaking the lap record. Someone will probably do tomorrow, hopefully us.”

Russell did concede that Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was “well out in front” during FP2. The Monegasque topped the session from Hamilton by just under two tenths, looking really quick.

Hamilton believes that it has been “the best day out on track” this year for the Silver Arrows.

“It’s been a good day, definitely been the best day we’ve had on track.

“I think the car was feeling really positive, really enjoying driving it. The track is amazing, and the grip was feeling quite good.

“I think we still have some challenges with the balance, but it was looking strong.”

Feature Image Credit: Peter Fox via Getty Images

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