Mercedes needs to make 'leaps and bounds' not 'baby steps' says George Russell

George Russell says Mercedes need to make “leaps and bounds” to fix the car’s problems after admitting the team is currently only taking “baby steps.”

The new Mercedes driver finished in fifth during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix but was largely caught in a no man’s land of not being quick enough to catch the top four but also comfortably ahead of the remaining pack.

Having swapped Williams for Mercedes at the end of the 2021 season, Russell would have been hoping to have been challenging for the first race win of his career but instead finds himself among the midfield.

The team has admitted there is work to be done on the car to bring it to the levels of Red Bull and Mercedes but Russell suggested the progress has been slow going.

“We’ve definitely got information, we’re continuing to learn, but at the moment we’re making baby steps and we need to make some leaps and bounds and we’re struggling to find that silver bullet to resolve our issues,” he said, as reported by motorsportweek.com.

Bit of a lonely one tonight but we made the best of it with P5. Two weeks to Melbourne, time to get stuck in. pic.twitter.com/PU45lp5Ghh

— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) March 27, 2022

“I’ve got no doubt when we do that we will find that chunk of lap time but as I’ve said before it’s easier said than done.”

One of the big issues affecting all cars but seemingly Mercedes more severely is porpoising. Russell said the team has found it hard to fix the problem due to its inconsistent nature.

“There’s so many factors at play when we’re bouncing, sometimes we change the set-up and think it will improve but actually it makes it slightly worse and it’s seemingly a little bit inconsistent,” he said.

“There’s so many factors at play between the mechanical stiffness of the car, the stiffness of the floors, the design of the floors, tyre pressures, it’s so many factors at play that contribute to making it better or worse.

 

“We almost need to pre-empt this issue and also in the race when you have the DRS closed you have more downforce than you do with it open so that’s another factor.

“We’re still learning, it’s far from optimal, but if we solve the porpoising that will cure 99 per cent of our issues.

“We are going to start trying to develop the car around the issues but we need to solve the underlying problem, which is porpoising.

“All of these cars perform best at low ride height and we can’t get anywhere close to where our rivals are running.”

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