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Russell: Mercedes has listened to Hamilton's wishes on 2024 F1 car

Mercedes' George Russell says his Formula 1 team's 2024 car has been designed around Lewis Hamilton's wishes after both drivers struggled with its predecessor's poor handling.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Last year, Mercedes stuck to its troublesome 2022 concept, which it realised was a mistake as soon as it showed up to winter testing.

The team rallied to finish second in the constructors' championship, but the recalcitrant handling and lack of predictability of the W14 left both Hamilton and Russell struggling for consistency.

Mercedes has appeared at this weekend's Bahrain season-opener with a heavily revised W15, which features much-anticipated design changes as well as a more rearward cockpit position, which was one of Hamilton's requests.

Last year Hamilton said Mercedes didn't listen to him as it decided to carry over its so-called 'zeropod' concept, but according to Russell the team has now granted the seven-time world champion's wishes, which is something Russell supports.

"Lewis and I have put out a huge amount of work into helping steer the team in the direction we want to go," Russell said.

"Obviously with Lewis' experience, the car has been designed around his wishes with the car being sat further rearwards than we were last year, the Red Bull-esque sidepods on the side and a slightly different steering rack.

"So, it's good that the team have sort of been listening to that, but we need to see if that translates into lap time.

"I think we hit the ground in a good place. But ultimately, there's only one thing that matters, and that's the lap time."

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG F1 Team

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG F1 Team

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

When asked if the changes Hamilton pushed through also suit him, he replied: "I'm happy with the changes that were pushed into this car and I think as any driver you just need to adapt to whatever you're given.

"We're sitting further rearwards this season. For me, it's a small change, not better, not worse."

He added: "Lewis and I've always had very similar comments in slightly different ways. He was talking a lot about the seating position, I was talking a lot about the rear being unstable.

"And ultimately, we have cured that problem, we believe, in a number of changers that were done. There's never one silver bullet."

Russell said he has not seen any change to Hamilton's commitment to making the W15 work in his final season with Mercedes, before he departs for Ferrari next year.

"We both work really hard on the simulator, I think Lewis is there more than he's ever done," he said.

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"Lewis is still motivated, and we're working really well together as a team. We were in the factory over the course of the weekend, both in the simulator on Saturday and on Monday a big team meeting with all the main designers and engineers, and it doesn't feel like anything's changed.

"So, we're still pushing ahead. And we're excited for what's to come.

"Red Bull have such a good base at the moment, but we have a strong base to build upon."

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