Mercedes made "minor" car changes to help Russell fit better

Mercedes has only made minor changes to help George Russell fit in its Formula 1 car, which will nevertheless help him if he races for the team in Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes made "minor" car changes to help Russell fit better
Listen to this article

Russell is waiting on the results of Lewis Hamilton's latest COVID-19 test to find out whether he will get a second race weekend appearance alongside Valtteri Bottas after his starring performance over the Sakhir Grand Prix weekend, or if he will see out the 2020 season back at Williams.

The British driver came close to taking pole and then winning the second event in Bahrain, despite having an uncomfortable time fitting into a car that had not been optimised to fit a taller driver – which included having to wear race boots that were a size smaller than he normally does.

When asked by Motorsport.com if Mercedes had made any changes to help him fit better in the W11 regardless of whether he races, Russell explained that the short turnaround time between the last two races of the season meant "we've made some minor modifications".

He added: "But there's only a limited amount of things you can do in the short period of time that we've had.

"And ultimately a lot more work needs to go in to get me comfortable in the car.

"We've got some slightly different things on the steering wheel, which makes things easier for me.

"So that is positive. But having had a race weekend in the car, everything should feel more natural."

Read Also:

Russell said he had felt "a bit more battered and bruised" the day after he led the majority of the Sakhir race, compared to how he normally feels after a race in Williams' FW43.

"Physically it was harder," he explained. "Which takes its toll on the body, but ultimately that Bahrain outer loop is not the most challenging of circuits, physically. Which made things easier with my limitations.

"I guess this will be slightly harder with 22 corners on the track and not really getting a second to breathe.

"But the adrenaline of driving this car and fighting for victories allows you to just power through the pain."

Although Russell came close to winning on his first appearance for F1's leading squad, where he has been a junior driver since 2016, he had approached the event without targeting a specific result, with the team not demanding he do better than reaching the top four in qualifying.

Russell said that despite his performance last time out, his expectations would remain the same if he were to deputise for Hamilton once again for the season finale.

"Obviously [it's] really nice to have been recognised for the job that we achieved last week but I'll be approaching this weekend the same," he said.

"It's only my second grand prix in the Mercedes, I've still got a hell of a lot to learn and it's going to be difficult.

"Last week absolutely exceeded expectations.

"Valtteri was pushing me the whole way from Friday onwards, put it on pole and then pushed me throughout the race as well.

"It was tricky and we're back to a more ordinary circuit this weekend. [But] it would be great to get another opportunity."

shares
comments

Related video

Leclerc: “I’ll choose my fights better” after Verstappen clash
Previous article

Leclerc: “I’ll choose my fights better” after Verstappen clash

Next article

Bottas accepts "I need to be better" after recent run of F1 form

Bottas accepts "I need to be better" after recent run of F1 form
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Prime

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Prime

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022