George Russell, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2023

Russell confident Mercedes will hold on to second in championship

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In the round-up: George Russell is confident that Mercedes will hold onto second place in the constructors’ championship

In brief

Russell confident Mercedes can hold on to second in championship

Mercedes driver George Russell says Mercedes will be “strong” in the second half of the F1 season following the summer break.

His team are currently a distant second behind Red Bull on 247 points. However in the last three races their lead over third-placed Aston Martin has grown from three points to 51.

Despite the recent resurgence of McLaren, Russell says he expects Mercedes to stay in their position. “I think they just had a really good run of form,” Russell said in response to a question from RaceFans. “It’s often how it goes in this sport when you’re on the right foot, things are a little bit easier, you’re not stressing, the car’s in the right place when you put it on the ground.

“I’m sure we’re going to be strong the second half of the season and we’ve got some little things coming after the break. But I’m confident we can secure that second-best team and try and close that gap further.”

Evans signs Jaguar extension

Jaguar Formula E driver Mitch Evans will remain with the British team for at least the next two seasons after signing a multi-year contract extension.

Evans has been with Jaguar since 2016, making his debut in the series as the team entered the championship. He was championship runner up in 2022 and finished third this season, taking four race victories in both seasons.

Sam Bird, Evans’ team mate for the last three seasons, has left the Jaguar following the conclusion of the 2023 championship. Championship runner-up Nick Cassidy is tipped to join Evans next season.

Franchitti a “great” driver coach – Armstrong

IndyCar rookie Marcus Armstrong says that three-times Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti has been a major help to him in his first season in the series.

The Chip Ganassi driver sits 18th in the championship standings, the highest rookie despite not having participated in a single oval race this season. Armstrong praised the team’s driving coach for his support.

“Dario has been really, really great,” Armstrong said. “I think I’ve probably been on the phone to him about five times over the course of the last five days

“He’s great in every aspect really. He certainly points me in the right direction. I often say that he needs to be more harsh with me, like tell me what I’m doing wrong, because clearly I need to improve on stuff. But he seems to be very positive all the time about what we have been doing as a group and what I’ve been doing and how I’m progressing.”

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Comment of the day

With Pirelli’s Mario Isola suggesting developing a “super intermediate” tyre may be a good idea, @fer-no65 feels it’s a no-brainer…

I don’t understand. What Isola is saying is that whichever way you want to call them, if a tyre is only fit for purpose at the very end of the “wet” spectrum – which realistically we never race on anymore because of other faults with the car – then they need to scrap that and make that tyre work in a window much closer to where the inters peak performance is.

Isn’t that like the most logical and extremely obvious thing to do? Why talk about “optimal crossovers” or anything? Just make a tyre that they can actually use! What’s the delay? They’ve been switching the wets for inters as soon as possible for years now, they hardly use the wets… surely you don’t need more than 10 people and tests in Fiorano to see that. Make the wet just a slightly deeper grooved inter (the super intermediate he mentions) and work from that instead of creating such a massive gap between both tyres.
Fer no.65

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  • 55 years ago today Jackie Stewart won at a soaked Nurburgring Nordschleife by a massive four minutes

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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10 comments on “Russell confident Mercedes will hold on to second in championship”

  1. I’m also confident about that mainly because of points gap.

    1. It’s not so much the points gap, but the fact that different teams were/are claiming second best at different events. By spreading the challengers thin it is almost certain Mercedes will end up second in the WCC.

      Similarly, Verstappen will probably win the WDC if he retires today. Mathematically many drivers can still win, but we won’t see the same order every weekend and I doubt anybody else will achieve 314 points (RBR might orchestrate it for Checo though).

      1. Yes, that’s a good point, they take too little points per race unless a clear 2nd best gets established.

      2. Mathematically many drivers can still win

        Just to add some facts: that’s all drivers with 31pts or more points; Piastri and the drivers currently ahead of him.

        This also means that within Alpine only Ocon still has a shot at the title. I wonder if they now make Gasly a support driver to Ocon :p

  2. It was easy for Prost to look like he wasn’t even trying when his car/driver combination weighed 24kg less than Mansell even when they drove identical cars. That’s something like 0.4 seconds a lap – effectively a 25 second head start in the race.
    Prost retired from F1 just as they changed to rules to make the weight limit include the driver weight.

    1. notagrumpyfan
      4th August 2023, 10:51

      But as Prost was rumoured to be very smart (Le Professeur) wouldn’t his weight be quite high up in the car, with a negative impact on cornering speeds?

      1. Easy, get Alain and his big and heavy brain to drive the car upside down

  3. Ferrari does too many mistakes, Mclaren is too far behind and Aston Martin has Lance Stroll.

    so yeah, they’ll finish where they are, easy.

    1. That’s my take on it, too. I seriously doubt they have the second fastest car except, perhaps, at a few specific tracks, but they have two great drivers, didn’t start at the bottom, and haven’t made many mistakes. They have no chance of catching RBR, nobody does, but barring a disaster they should have no problem maintaining second. It’s more to do with most other teams having screwed up even worse than them in one way or another than them doing particularly well, though.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        4th August 2023, 15:59


        They have no chance of catching RBR, nobody does

        Based on the conversation between Max and GP and the fact that Max built a lead of 22 seconds over Checo (the same car as Red Bull likes to joke about) in 27 laps on a track where 82% is full throttle, Red Bull has objectively already won the next 3 championships.

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