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BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 22: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 22, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain.

Russell: Mercedes ‘the most confident we have been’ in ground effect era

Since the start of the new ground effect regulations in 2022, the Silver Arrows have struggled, only winning one race at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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Russell believes Mercedes has never been more confident with its car since the new ground effect regulations were introduced in 2022.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 08: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 08, 2024 in Montreal, Quebec.
Russell secured pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix (Image Credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

George Russell believes his Mercedes Formula 1 team is “the most confident we have been” since the new ground effect regulations three years ago.

Himself and his teammate Lewis Hamilton locked out the second row in Spain. The round before saw Russell secure his second career pole and the Brackley team’s first podium in Montreal.

Hamilton qualified in third – three tenths behind polesitter Lando Norris and reigning world champion Max Verstappen. Russell qualified in fourth – only 0.002 seconds behind the seven-time world champion.

The start of the 2024 season saw Mercedes begin its third consecutive disappointing start since the new ground effect regulations were brought in 2022.

The Brackley team have only secured one race win during the current regulations. Russell won the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix in a Mercedes 1-2. However, the team has struggled to fight at the front.

Progress has been made

Despite its struggles, the Silver Arrows have still been pushing to try and return to the front. The team has now confirmed that progress has been made across a variety of circuits. With his, Russell said it is the most confident the team has been since the start of 2022:

“This is for sure is the most confident we have been over the last three years of what we’ve brought to the car.”

“This is natural as well, we’re all gaining experience, we’re all three years into these regulations.

“And I think we all know what makes a good race car in this sort of era. I think it’s proven how tight it is out there with the top four teams at the moment.

“Probably in the coming races, marginal differences will make a big difference in terms of your grid position, but that’s what Formula 1 should be about.”

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 22: George Russell, Mercedes F1 W15 during qualifying at the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 22, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain.
Mercedes have been at the sharp end of the grid for the first time since the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix (Image Credit: Sam Bagnall/LAT Images)
Eight drivers could win Spanish Grand Prix

The qualifying session at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix was the closest it has been since the new ground effect regulations in 2022. The practice sessions was also super narrow at the sharp end of the grid.

Polesitter Norris believes that eight drivers could realistically fight for the race win in the race. The Briton believes Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes drivers all have a chance to win the race.

“I think tomorrow is not like ‘this car or this car is way quicker’, I think between Mercedes, ourselves, Red Bull, Ferrari there’s eight cars that probably could’ve been on pole today and have a chance of probably winning the race.”

Who do you think will win today’s race?

Feature Image Credit: Mark Sutton – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

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