Russell hopes Singapore F1 GP will show "validation" of Mercedes W13 work

George Russell is hoping that this weekend’s Singapore GP will be a “validation” of all the work his Mercedes Formula 1 team has done to understand the W13's bouncing tendencies.

Russell hopes Singapore F1 GP will show "validation" of Mercedes W13 work

The car has been notoriously tricky on bumpy circuits, and despite extensive resurfacing work at the track teams are expecting to see issues this weekend.

However Russell believes that Mercedes now has a better understanding of the car, and that Singapore will be a good test of that.

Asked what were the factors that potentially worked for and against the team, Russell suggested that the circuit layout will be favourable.

"I think the factors in favour are the high downforce set-up, our car seems to work better on the higher downforce [circuits]” he said, “[plus] our competitors, the fact that Red Bull are very, very efficient with their straight line speed, and here that doesn't come in too much of an effect. So their advantage will be less.

“But the ones that go against us are the bumpiness of this circuit. We clearly struggled with the street circuits this year in Monaco, Azerbaijan, Montreal. We have made a lot of progress in that regard.

“But this will be sort of validation if the steps we've made on that ride have translated into performance.

“I don't think it will be necessarily Zandvoort/Budapest levels of performance this weekend, but I'm pretty confident we will be more competitive than we saw in Monza and Spa.”

Russell says the team has also made progress in understanding how to get the best out of the Pirelli tyres in qualifying.

“Certainly it's been our biggest challenge,” he said when asked by Autosport/Motorsport.com about the issue. “Clearly on Saturdays our performance swings are substantial. That's probably the only element of our race car that we're still struggling to get a handle on.

George Russell, Mercedes W13

George Russell, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Alessio Morgese

“We probably have an understanding compared to the midfield teams why they seem to be more competitive than us on a Saturday and less so on a Sunday, but comparing with Ferrari and Red Bull, we still struggle to understand how they do sometimes such a great job in qualifying, and we're struggling a little bit more.

“But every single race is an opportunity for us to continue to learn. And ultimately, I think when we have a car that we as drivers have more confidence in, that will also give us a couple of extra tenths that can just be that difference at the front of the midfield to be right in the fight with the front pack."

Russell’s team mate Lewis Hamilton acknowledged that historically Singapore has not been an easy venue for Mercedes, particularly when racing with its longer wheelbase designs.

“I would definitely say that it was a track that we had struggled at quite a lot,” said the former world champion. “I don't think it was aero-based, I think it was probably more ride quality, that we just hadn't been as good as some of the others had been.

“We'll discover if that's a true philosophy this weekend, or a true theory this weekend. I think they've resurfaced some parts of the circuit, so hope hopefully it's not as bouncy as before.”

Regarding prospects for the race he added: “We hope that the car works better here. But as I said, it really depends how bumpy it is. And the bumps often set the car off and upset the car in a lot of instances.

“We do know it's going to be bumpy. Maybe the car will be fine. Maybe it won't. So I have no expectations at all, just going to try and have the best weekend with whatever we're faced with.”

shares
comments
Singapore GP: F1 technical images direct from the pitlane
Previous article

Singapore GP: F1 technical images direct from the pitlane

Next article

Why Red Bull and Ferrari are eyeing key set-up changes for Singapore GP

Why Red Bull and Ferrari are eyeing key set-up changes for Singapore GP
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate 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…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader 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…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

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