Published On: Thu, May 9th, 2024
Sports | 2,878 views

Lando Norris rubs salt in Mercedes’ wounds as George Russell makes alarming statement | F1 | Sport

George Russell has noted how McLaren have made an incredible transformation since the Miami Grand Prix 12 months ago, although he admitted that despite their win on Sunday providing some inspiration for Mercedes, his team are still unaware of what caused his issues.

Last year in Miami, McLaren were classified in P17 and P19 with Lando Norris finishing nearly 90 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen and Oscar Piastri going a lap down. 12 months on, however, and it was a different story as the Brit held off Red Bull’s three-time world champion to claim his maiden Grand Prix victory.

This transition was acknowledged by Russell, who noted: “McLaren qualified P17 and P18 12 months ago in Miami, and [on Sunday] they won. So it shows what’s possible when they get things right. But right now we don’t have things right.”

However, while McLaren and Norris’ journey serves as an inspiration for any team in the midfield looking to move forward, Mercedes’ stagnation in the same period acts as a warning in the same proportions. The Silver Arrows have made little progress in understanding the root cause of their issues and are therefore still languishing in the midfield.

In Miami last weekend, despite a safety car closing up the pack with half of the race in the bank, Lewis Hamilton finished over 16 seconds back from Norris at the point, while Russell was over 34 seconds behind his fellow Brit, finishing behind VCARB’s Yuki Tsunoda in P8.

“I don’t really know, to be honest,” Russell replied when asked what was causing Mercedes’ struggles in Miami. “You know, on a good day, we’re P5. On a bad day, we’re P8 and today was a bad day, and we finished P8.

“I think we have to accept that we are the fourth-fastest team at the moment. The lap times don’t lie. And the championship [standing] doesn’t lie. This is where we are. And as I said, we’re fighting for the P5 to P8 region week in and week out now.”

Mercedes can at least take some comfort from the fact that Aston Martin – their closest challengers in the Constructors’ Championship – have taken a step backwards with their latest round of developments. The gap between Lawrence Stroll’s outfit and Toto Wolff’s squad stands at 22 points heading into the race in Imola.

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