Abu Dhabi GP, a “reality check” of Mercedes F1

Lewis Hamilton and Russell qualified fifth and sixth by the end of the season, with Russell taking fifth place in the race after his teammate’s late retirement.

Russell’s day was made more difficult after he lost to Lando Norris on the opening lap, and he was initially trapped behind the McLaren driver.

He also lost time with a five-second penalty for an unsafe start, which he took at his second stop, after which he set a series of fastest laps.

“I think it’s like a reality check for all of us,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com after his race. And very necessary, because we still recognize that we have a lot to do if we want to fight with Red Bull next season.

“Clearly we have a car with a huge amount of potential, but unfortunately that performance window is too narrow. And those performance changes we’ve seen from the highs in Budapest, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore compared to here, Monza , Spa are too big.”

George Russell, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

Abu Dhabi saw the team suffer more from the porpoises than they had for a while, making life more difficult for the pilots.

“I think we weren’t the only team experiencing a bit of a porpoise this year. The changes the FIA ​​is making to the raised floor edge will be an improvement in that regard.”

“It definitely adds quite a bit of fatigue. I forgot what it was like to drive with the car bouncing around the corners, a bit on the straight. So I’ll be happy if I come to Bahrain next year with nothing.” of that.”

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Russell was keen to put his first Interlagos win in the context of the full season.

He added: “I am incredibly proud of what we achieved last week, but I am here to try to become F1 world champion, and we have a long road ahead of us.

“Of course it’s good to get it off your back, but you’re as good as you were at your last race, as they say, and the last race was here in Abu Dhabi. We finished fifth as a team.” [here].

“I’m fourth in the championship. I’m going to look back on the season with a lot of pride, but equally knowing that there’s a lot to improve if we’re going to fight Max.” [Verstappen].”

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