George Russell has revealed that Mercedes is looking to its title-winning cars from previous years for inspiration in its bid to return to the front of the Formula 1 field.
Mercedes sustained the greatest stretch of success ever seen in the sport’s history upon the switch to V6 turbo-hybrid engines in 2014, proceeding to celebrate eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships alongside seven Drivers’ titles.
However, the German marque was caught out by the overhaul to the technical regulations last year, slumping to third in the standings and only picking up a solitary win.
Despite signs of improvement this season, Mercedes has been unable to compete with Red Bull, who have stormed to victory in all 12 races to be held to this point.
Russell, who raced for Mercedes once prior to his promotion last year, says that the Brackley-based side is investigating what made its previous generation of cars successful in an attempt to improve the characteristics of next year’s W15 creation.
“I think we’re working really hard on the characteristics for next year,” he underlined.
“We’re looking a lot at how the previous generations of cars were for Mercedes, during the glory years and using that as a bit of inspiration as clearly that was one of the best cars in history.
“So, you know, that’s given us some pointers or where we need to try and aim for.”
Last season Russell became only the third team-mate to outscore Hamilton over an entire F1 campaign, following in the footsteps of World Champions Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg.
The ex-Williams racer began this year by out-qualifying Hamilton in all of the first four rounds, but he has only been classified ahead in qualifying once since Mercedes introduced a revised car in Monaco.
Furthermore, Russell has only finished as the lead Mercedes driver once in race trim in that time, which only emerged after Hamilton was hit with a five-second time penalty in Austria for accruing too many track limits infringements.
Asked to describe the first half of his season heading into the summer break, Russell said: “A season of two halves.
“So, I’d say the first six races were really strong. The last six races not so much. A few ideas why that is, quite a lot of missed opportunities this season for various reasons.
“Some from mistakes of my own, some, like the failure in Australia, cost me a lot of points.
“But, nevertheless, you know, if you’re not fighting for the P1 in the Drivers’ Championship, you just want to maximize the Constructors and so far we’re kind of doing that.”
Russell’s recovery to sixth from a poor qualifying and a compromised start in Belgium enabled him to move above Carlos Sainz in the Drivers’ standings.
However, Russell simultaneously dropped below the other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, who edged out Hamilton to notch only the Italian side’s third podium of 2023.
Meanwhile, Mercedes strengthened its grip on second place in the Constructors’ Championship. The Brackley squad now upholds a comfortable 52-point advantage over Aston Martin, with Ferrari now only a further five points adrift.