While admitting the team would like to win a race in the remaining rounds of this year, Russell, who has scooped the side’s only victory in this regulation cycle, outlines Mercedes’ target is consolidating second.
“I think we want to just keep on progressing, I think, as a team,” he said. “We’re in a good position in the Constructors’ Championship, P2.
“We’ve made progress. We’re in the fight with Aston Martin. McLaren are obviously looking pretty strong, but we want to keep on improving.
“We obviously would love to win a race this year, but Max and Red Bull are really, really strong but I think the goal for us now is to seal that P2 in the Constructors.”
Red Bull have stormed to victory in all 12 races to be held to this point in 2013, surpassing the previous all-time F1 record for the most consecutive wins by a team.
However, Russell believes Mercedes’ upgraded W14 now has the capacity to triumph, providing Max Verstappen and Red Bull suffer a slip-up at any stage.
When asked if he thinks Mercedes is in prime position to be able to take advantage of any misfortune befalling that combination, Russell replied: “Yeah, absolutely.”
The Briton also asserts that the Brackley-based operation’s campaign has been anything but a “failure”.
“I feel like as a team, we’ve gone strength to strength this season and obviously there’s a lot of expectations upon us going into this season and perhaps why people are calling our season a bit of a failure and of course, it’s far from where we wanted to be, because we want to be fighting for championships but to call P2 in the championship, 50 points ahead of P3 at the moment, a failure is far from reality,” he contended.
“We know we’ve got a lot to improve. We’ve made really good progress and I think going into this second half of the season, we can be there to hopefully pick up any pieces that fall our way.
“But we just never know. I think last year we had the mentality that Singapore would probably be our only opportunity in the second half to win a race and when we didn’t win in Singapore, it was a bitter disappointment and there was no expectation going into Brazil and we came away with the victory there. So we treat every race as an opportunity.”
Aside from its race-winning display in Brazil, Mercedes enjoyed one of its finer performances of a challenging 2022 season last year at Zandvoort, the venue of this weekend’s race.
The Silver Arrows were in contention for the victory before a late Safety Car played favourably towards Red Bull and Verstappen, with Russell coming home second.
Questioned on whether he expects the W14 to be as competitive at the circuit as its predecessor, Russell said: “I see no reason why not. I think these type of circuits, high downforce circuits, we tend to go well. Budapest, we were fast.
“Here, it was probably one of our most competitive circuits along with obviously Brazil. But we don’t know what the weekend is going to bring.
“The weather, again, looks very up and down but I think it doesn’t matter the conditions, I feel that we can have a strong weekend.”