Mercedes in the Same Boat as Williams, Concludes George Russell After Bahrain F1 Struggles

Published 04/10/2021, 9:06 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 27, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during qualifying REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Williams did not have a great outing in Bahrain as its lead driver, George Russell, could only muster a 14th place finish. His car was affected by the windy conditions at the track, and he believes it is a similar problem that Mercedes faced, as well.

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In a bid to leapfrog from the bottom of the grid, Williams came up with a radical aerodynamic design approach. Their FW43B supposedly performs well in ‘neutral’ conditions but encounters a performance dip in windy conditions.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes GP prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

George Russell compared their balance problems with Mercedes’ W12. The Silver Arrows struggled with the unstable rear of their car throughout the pre-season testing event and the Bahrain GP. Unfortunately, neither team can go to the drawing board and simply change the design of their respective cars.

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“Something as substantial as that would require a complete re-design, which obviously we’ve not done. It’s what we’ve got, it’s what a lot of teams have got. Time will tell, but I believe that potentially Mercedes are in the same boat.

“They probably struggled this weekend more than you’ll see them struggle at races in the near future. Red Bull, and the likes of Alfa Romeo, were more competitive relative to the field than we’ll see in races to come.”

Mercedes may not struggle as much in Imola as compared to Bahrain, according to Russell

There is some respite for Mercedes if we are to believe the words of Russell. If the W12 really struggled so much in Bahrain because of the track layout and weather conditions, they may not encounter the same problems in Imola as the track won’t be as windy.

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“It’s very different to Bahrain, so you’ve got two ends of the spectrum. Bahrain, you’ve got a lot of slow-speed corners, very exposed, generally very windy. Imola is high-speed corners, the angle of those corners are less… It is very enclosed with all the trees and the buildings around,” said George Russell.

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ George Russell leads and Valtteri Bottas is second placed after the start of the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

It is good news for Mercedes as they face mounting pressure from Red Bull. They won the race in Bahrain, in part of Lewis Hamilton’s brilliance and Red Bull’s technical issues. So, they need to maximize their points tally in a more favorable Imola track.

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Bharat Aggarwal

690 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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