George Russell says Mercedes have become less competitive as the weekend has gone on after the team posted its worst qualifying performance of the season so far in Miami.Lewis Hamilton, after the team struggled in qualifying.
“The car is just not working for us this weekend,” Russell admitted. “We’re struggling a lot with the balance, bouncing around a little bit which I guess a lot of teams thought was a thing of the past, but is seemingly apparent for a number of cars.
“Performance wasn’t coming to us. It’s a real shame, everybody is working so hard to achieve it but clearly this is a little bit of an outlier circuit when we see the pace of some of the other cars.”
Russell said Mercedes “have no explanation” for why they are so far from the pace. He was almost a second slower than pole-winner Sergio Perez in Q3.
The unusual nature of the Miami circuit is likely to be part of the explanation, Russell believes. “It does seem a little bit apparent to this Miami surface, maybe because the track’s so smooth, I don’t know. But ultimately, we need to do a better job.”
“The car was feeling good in FP1 but as the grip got laid down and the track improved, we seemingly just went slower and slower,” he explained.
“Everybody’s working so hard to turn this around and we’re yet to bring any major upgrades to the car. We know we’ve got a hell of a challenge on our hands but everybody is working their arses off to achieve it. So this is a unique one, it’s a bit of an outlier this circuit.”
The W14 is lacking pace in all areas around the Miami International Autodrome, he said. “There’s not one specific corner. We’ve gone a bit left, right and centre with the set-up and are still having a few of the same issues.
“So I think it’s fundamentally the aerodynamic characteristics, which we would like to think we’re resolving in the near future or we’re pushing in the right direction. I’m not going to sit here and give promises that we’re going to find loads of lap time but that’s what we’re pushing towards.”
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