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Russell: W15 better suited to ‘attack’ corners than ‘challenging’ W14

Mercedes struggled to show their normal class in 2023 and will look to rebuild this season

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Mercedes driver George Russell has claimed that the new W15 is much better suited to ‘attack’ corners than the W14 which was ‘challenging to drive’.

The Brackley-based team have failed to show their usual dominance over the last two seasons, winning only a single race in that time.

Prior to that point, Mercedes had won eight constructors championships in a row, with no other team able to match their pace.

Since the start of the 2022 season, the Silver Arrows have looked like a different team, struggling to fight at the front of the grid.

Part of that was put down to the no side pod design that was adopted by the team, before they completely changed the concept ahead of Monaco last season.

The lack of consistency lead to a car that was difficult for the drivers, something that looks to have changed this year.

“The car last year was really challenging to drive, Lewis and I had no confidence in it like it was going to bite us every single corner,” said Russell, speaking to Total Motorsport.

“We can attack for the medium and high speed corners without the rear end snapping out, and we feel like we’ve made a really good step in terms of the consistency of the car, we can really lean on it better than we’ve been able to in the past.

“And this was a huge focus throughout last year, we saw many flaws with the W14, which the team have done a really great job to rectify.”

The only way is up

With a good foundation in place, Mercedes could be in for a stronger year.

Red Bull remain the clear favourites to dominate this year, however, there are some feelings this season may be closer than last.

The difference for Mercedes is that this year they can focus on upgrading a car that starts from a good place, rather than changing their entire design half way through the year.

Testing went well for Mercedes, who looked good over long stints and managed to put in the second fastest time on the final day.

“We’ve now got a car mechanically where the aero guys can go and focus on just building downforce upon that, whereas in the past, whatever we did aerodynamically there were underlying issues with the race car that took a while to understand and solve,” continued Russell.

“When the car feels nice but it’s not quite on the pace, you just need to find downforce in the right places.”

Featured Image Credit: @MercedesAMGF1 via X

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