Russell and the Mercedes performance gap at Spa
George Russell had “mixed emotions” after the 2022 Belgian F1 GP after dropping two seconds off the podium and believes the tires weighed on Mercedes’ qualifying.
The Mercedes W13 ran into far more trouble than expected during qualifying for the 2022 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, with hamilton finishing seventh at 1.8 seconds from the best time, the work of Max Verstappen, and Russell behind his partner in eighth place.
Penalties on the Dutch driver and many others meant the famous silver balls actually started from positions four and five, but George Russell, having seen the pace of his car on Saturday, anticipated a tricky run.
However, in the final stages of the race, the young Briton was catching the Ferrari of third-placed Carlos Sainz when a tire lock error caused him to miss the chance to pass the Spaniard.
“I have mixed emotions because I felt like the podium could be real, and I could have done it,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com.
“But the only thing we talk about today in Formula 1 is the tyres, and I had a little blockage, I went a little long and that’s when I lost everything, it was the end of the game. Like I said, mixed feelings.”
“We didn’t expect to finish two seconds late. sainz. We thought we could overtake Charles Leclerc (he started 15th), but not Verstappen (14º)”.
“Max was probably a lot further ahead than we thought. And in return we were closer to Ferrari than we thought. So I would say that was positive in some ways and negative in others,” he said. added the Mercedes driver.
Speaking of the difference in pace from Saturday to Sunday, something that is not the first time that happens to mercedes so far in 2022, Russell concluded that Spa-Francorchamps was a clear example of the cars of Brackley they are better in race conditions because of the way the tires are managed.
“Yeah, I would say that assessment is pretty decent. We certainly didn’t do well yesterday in qualifying. And we probably lost about a second of performance just because of the tyres. Today obviously we were a lot more strong.”
“I think this circuit exposes some of the weak points in our motoring philosophy. And hopefully things will improve from next weekend.”
“But to be honest, it’s all a bit of a blur right now and there’s no guarantee of anything. I’d like to think it’s probably going to be our worst weekend of the year.” Russell.
As for porpoising that he Mercedes W13 could suffer in the banked corners of Zandvoort this weekend, the British driver was not worried.
“We still struggled a bit with the porpoising this weekend. It was a bit bumpier than the four tracks we raced on before the summer break. no problems in those specific corners. [de Zandvoort]I hope it goes well,” concluded the Mercedes driver.
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