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F1 | Russell: Lack of pace in Abu Dhabi GP "a bit of a reality check", performance swings in 2022 "far too vast"

Speaking after the race on Sunday, George Russell was left with mixed feelings on 2022 because of the up and down nature in regards to the performance of the W13. He also hopes to see the back of the porpoising that affected the team again in Abu Dhabi.

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F1 | Russell: Lack of pace in Abu Dhabi GP "a bit of a reality check", performance swings in 2022 "far too vast"
Fuente imagen: Mercedes AMG F1 Team

Seven days on from George Russell’s glorious maiden win at the São Paulo Grand Prix, a large dose of realism hit Mercedes at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The eight-time Constructors’ Champions capped off a difficult season with Russell’s P5 and a DNF for Lewis Hamilton.

The Mercedes drivers could only manage P5 and P6 in qualifying as Red Bull and Ferrari outpaced them. They were set to be P4 or P5 and P6 before unreliability struck for Lewis Hamilton in the closing laps.

Speaking post-race, Russell conceded they needed this tough weekend to understand how far they still need to go to challenge Red Bull Racing on a consistent basis in 2023.

“I think it was a bit of a reality check for all of us,” said Russell. “And very much needed, because we still recognise we’ve got a lot to do to fight with Red Bull next season.

“Clearly we have a car with a huge amount of potential, but unfortunately that performance window is far too narrow.

“And those performance swings we’ve seen – from the highs of Budapest, Brazil, Mexico and Singapore, comparing to [the lows of] here, Monza and Spa – are just far too vast.”

Both Mercedes drivers complained of porpoising around the Yas Marina circuit this weekend.

It had been a huge problem for the team earlier the season, and Russell admits he had forgotten how draining it was to drive a car with bouncing.

“I think it was very unique, we weren’t the only team to have experienced a bit of proposing this year,” Russell stated. “The changes the FIA are making with the raised floor edge is going to be an improvement in that regard.

“It definitely adds quite a lot of fatigue. I forgot what it was like to drive with the car bouncing around through the corners and a little bit down the straight.

“I’ll be happy if I turn up to Bahrain next year with none of it.”
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Debut season with <a href="https://twitter.com/MercedesAMGF1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MercedesAMGF1</a> complete. We hoped for more but I&#39;m proud that together we achieved my maiden pole, sprint victory and race win. Lots of positives to take away from the year and even more motivation heading into 2023. We’ll be back stronger, I have no doubt. 👊 <a href="https://t.co/RHmqyWub5H">pic.twitter.com/RHmqyWub5H</a></p>&mdash; George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) <a href="https://twitter.com/GeorgeRussell63/status/1594750749745238016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 21, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

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