George Russell, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023 pre-season test

Final day of testing “much more positive” for Mercedes – Russell

2023 F1 season

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George Russell was encouraged by the progress Mercedes made on the final day of testing ahead of the 2023 F1 season.

His test yesterday was cut short by a hydraulic failure on the W14 chassis. The team also encountered handling problems with its new car which Lewis Hamilton said were similar to the “balance limitations” they encountered on last year’s car.

However the car ran reliably today, allowing the pair to cover 148 laps, during which time they began to get more out of the car.

“We had a much more positive day today,” Russell confirmed. “We took a step forward and made progress with the issues we faced yesterday.

“I believe we have improved the car over the course of testing and got the W14 in a much better window today. There is still plenty of work to do but we’re in better shape for next week with more to come.”

The team’s trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said “a fair bit of work took place overnight to find some refinements to the car specification and recover our direction on the set-up.” He said the third day of running had put the team back on the right course with its car.

“We do seem to have made progress,” he said. “Both drivers felt the car was in a much better place across the range of conditions today and the balance is closer to what they require on single lap and long run.

“It’s clear that we still have work to do on car pace but today has given us a much more coherent picture of where we need to focus our efforts. We’ll be using the time ahead of next weekend to go through the data we’ve collected, and aim to extract a bit more lap time.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “Final day of testing “much more positive” for Mercedes – Russell”

  1. Fastest time on final day,
    Redbull – C4
    Mercedes – C5
    Too soon to tell positive or not.

  2. I didn’t had that feeling more like a ohoh after the third day. The first day i had good hope the second they went (they said) wrong with the setup which was really terrible.
    The long runs were also so so but George should know beter then me (and the F1TV team) or he is doing damage control wich i had when i heard Lewis talking.

  3. Some of the Sky team commented that the C4 tyre was faster than the C5 on this track and conditions, as the C5 started faster but was degrading by mid lap and was considerably slower by 3rd sector. Hamilton should have put on the C4 tyre like the others in the final fast stint to have a direct comparison. I’m sure they intended to avoid that.

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