George Russell has revealed that Mercedes have held “important meetings” as they finalize the design of their 2023 car to take on Max Verstappen and Red Bull. The former Williams driver revealed that it had been “a very important couple of weeks” for the constructor’s plans for next season.
He admitted that the team had held talks and a variety of similar sessions before the Brazilian Grand Prix as they continue to work on improvements.
He said: “I was at the factory on Tuesday. It’s been a very important couple of weeks for us in terms of development for next year. We had some big meetings and simulation sessions last week that I wanted to be back home for.”
Mercedes closed the gap to Red Bull after introducing a number of improvements ahead of the last two races. The Silver Arrows enjoyed an updated floor and new rear wing at the United States Grand Prix which Lewis Hamilton led to the closing stages.
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The seven-time champion also battled for victory in Mexico after the team installed an upgraded front wing. Hamilton won last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix after rallying from the back of the grid for Saturday’s road race.
However, Russell has admitted that the team is likely to find it difficult to replicate that success this weekend. He said: “I think this year’s car is a very different beast compared to what Mercedes had last year.
“Our performance in Mexico was a little bit stronger than our base performance, we’ll see. Our main fight is with Ferrari at the moment to try and finish ahead of them. Red Bull have been the strongest team at every track they go to and hopefully with the long straights they will have a very efficient car and be the team to beat.
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“But we are cloning the gap and that is all we can continue to do.”
Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott has confirmed that the team’s 2023 car “will look different” to the current concept. Team principal Toto Wolff also suggested that both drivers would see a major change next year.
He explained: “The DNA of the car is going to change for next year, that is clear. It doesn’t necessarily mean that our body will look very different. But certainly what is part of the DNA of the car, the architecture of the car, will change for next year.