Russell: Mercedes cannot get “carried away” with Spanish GP pace

Jaden Diaz
7 Jun, 2023

George Russell and Mercedes recovered from a difficult qualifying to secure their best finish of the season, crossing the line in 2nd and 3rd with some very encouraging race pace.

The W14 has always been more competitive in a long-run pace, but the German outfit found itself the undisputed second-fastest team at the Spanish GP – for the first time in 2023.

However, Mercedes also showed an impressive level of performance at Catalunya last year. Therefore, this result (at a track well-suited to Mercedes) should be taken with a small grain of salt.

With that said, the W14’s pace last weekend is certainly an encouraging sign for the team’s latest update package, which has been designed to redirect Mercedes’ development direction.

A greater sample size of races will allow for more concrete observation to be drawn about the Silver Arrows’ performance compared to its direct rivals.

Consistent with this cautious approach, George Russell made clear that no conclusions can be drawn from the Barcelona circuit:

“I think after yesterday, we knew it was going to be a challenge but woke up with a bit more positivity, and I thought we could definitely move forward, probably fight for P5, P6.

“I thought P3 would be a little bit out of reach – but the car was really, really great today.

“The team did a great job with the strategy, and it was a really satisfying race, making some good moves on the people around me.

“Huge thanks to the whole team for bringing these updates forward. But equally, we’re not going to get carried away just after this one race.

“Because we know it might be slightly different in the future races, and I think generally Aston and Ferrari were a little bit more off the pace than normal.”

Aston Martin new front wing - SpanishGP

Aston Martin is unlikely to stand still after the Spanish GP, particularly given the batch of updates that are scheduled to arrive at the upcoming Grand Prix.

The British squad’s result in Catalunya is, at least so far, a one-off for the AMR23 – which has been one of the most consistent cars of this season.

Even without updates, Aston will surely prove a challenger to Mercedes, but the prospect of a significant update package should be taken even more seriously.

As such, Mercedes must continue working to put itself in the best position to challenge Red Bull, both for the latter half of this year and for the start of 2024.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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