George Russell has admitted that Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team went ‘too far’ with the development of the zero side pod concept on the W14 for the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Mercedes has not had an easy start to the 2023 season, despite a podium for Lewis Hamilton in Melbourne. In Bahrain, Team Principal Toto Wolff confirmed that radical changes were to made to the car, with them expected to be introduced at Imola later in the season.
Russell has admitted that the team took the concept of no side pods too far and that a change would have to be made to see Mercedes challenging Oracle Red Bull Racing, who is a second quicker than the Silver Arrows on average per lap.
“‘It caught us by surprise to see the lack of performance when we hit the track in Bahrain and that’s why we were quick to change our approach.
“I think already on the Saturday night of the Bahrain Grand Prix, we were trying different things, going in a different direction with the development because we recognised we’d maybe gone too far.
“We are making improvements and that should translate into lap time. But we recognise that Red Bull are over a second down the road at the moment.”
Russell has one race win to his name in his Formula 1 career, winning for the first time in Brazil at the back end of 2022, he and the team will be hoping that they can get back to winning ways with the Brit’s win being their only victory since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which saw Hamilton cross the finish line in first position.