Formula 1 | Mercedes W13 porpoising ‘kills’ Russell
George Russell has complained, particularly at Imola, of the physical difficulties caused by porpoising. The Mercedes W13 is greatly prone to this and the Briton experienced a lot of back and chest pain. However, he remains convinced that the single-seater has a lot of potential.
« Yes, we just have to try to unlock it » assures Russell. « I think we still don’t really understand why she’s so unpredictable. Toto often uses the word diva, but that’s an understatement, because she’s unpredictable. When she starts cornering, it kills to ride her. »
In Miami, the W13 unlocked its potential on the first day. Problem: Russell doesn’t know how he and Lewis Hamilton were able to put on such performances: « We always knew it was a fast car. But Friday was a total aberration, we don’t really understand why. »
« Obviously Lewis did a better job than me on Saturday, he qualified sixth, but even with the fuel and power corrections his fastest laps were on Friday, when all the other drivers gained more than a second. »
“My race pace was two tenths slower than [Charles] Leclerc on Friday, and on Sunday he was back to half a second to a second, so I don’t know. I’d love to give you an answer to be honest. »
« We have the brightest engineers in the industry working day and night trying to figure it out, and we still don’t have a clear answer. So we have to keep analyzing, and I think this weekend could be prove to be one of the most important when we look back. »
Russell judges that the fifth and sixth places were the level of Mercedes F1 in Miami, since the team was the third force. From now on, we will have to work on understanding the variations in performance.
« I think we deserve to be in fifth and sixth position. Obviously we weren’t up to par on some circuits, especially on Saturday, which makes it difficult for Sunday. This weekend we have shown the most promise, but we are still a long way off. »
« I mean, we have a car that can be fast. You just have to look at Friday’s data and compare it to the next two days to see the differences. But it’s strange, this sport is sometimes funny, and these new cars are clearly a challenge. »