Russell: Mercedes F1 car was a ‘totally different beast’ in qualifying – Motorsport.com

Russell finished Friday’s practice running at the Miami International Autodrome with the fastest time, but conceded he did not really understand where Mercedes’ pace had come from after its difficult start to the season.
Mercedes trialled a change in set-up on Russell’s car in final practice before going back to the previous configuration for qualifying, only for him to drop out in Q2 in 12th place. Russell’s best lap in qualifying was two tenths of a second slower than what he managed in FP2.
“It’s definitely a surprise, but after driving the car and experiencing how it felt, it’s no surprise,” Russell said.
“Today, it felt like a totally different beast. We had loads of porpoising today, and we don’t really understand why, and ultimately, that was the difficulty.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever felt it all the way through a corner. Through Turn 4 and Turn 5, it was just bouncing through it all, and then it’s all in the braking zones.
“It’s a shame, because I was slower on Saturday than I was Friday, and everyone else went one second quicker.”
George Russell, Mercedes W13
Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images
Mercedes has struggled with porpoising on its W13 car throughout the early part of the 2022 season, leaving it unable to challenge Ferrari and Red Bull at the front of the field.
Russell struggled with a lack of rear stability on his car that was still there for qualifying despite backtracking on the set-up change in FP3, but cited the porpoising as the biggest issue that prevented him from getting into Q3.
“The rear of the car is hopping around, and you just don’t have any support or stability in the rear,” Russell said.
“Yesterday we were flying through sector one and had so much confidence in the car. And suddenly as I said, totally different beast today.
“It makes sense from within the car. But we don’t really understand why it’s so different.”
Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton managed to make it through to Q3, qualifying sixth behind the Ferrari and Red Bull cars, as well as the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton acknowledged Mercedes’ qualifying had been “a bit confusing with Friday’s pace” and that it remained unsure why its performance seemed to be exaggerated in FP3.
“Today was a bit of a surprise to see in FP3, we were quite far back,” Hamilton said.
“So it was a bit nerve-wracking going into qualifying. We’ve not really taken a step forward or anything. But we’ve just got to keep on working.”
Perez brands Miami F1 track surface “a joke” as drivers fear poor race
The untold Gilles Villeneuve story from inside Ferrari
“A bit sad” new F1 rules haven’t cut gap to front, says Gasly
Number of US sponsors in F1 has doubled under Liberty – Williams
Why Imola’s step back in time is refreshing for F1’s future
Russell: “Only a matter of time” before dangerous F1 bouncing goes wrong
Wolff: Hamilton just needs better luck to be matching Russell
What Russell’s current Mercedes form means for his F1 future
Hamilton refutes Baku F1 stewards’ call for alleged slow driving
Wolff: Draggy Mercedes F1 “parachute” causing one-second Baku deficit
The small details where Hamilton can make the difference for Mercedes
Norris: Race out of pits more dangerous than driving slowly
F1 eyes tweaks to pitlane queue rules after Haas investigation
Alonso refutes Albon claims he was playing tricks in Baku F1 qualifying
Russell: “Only a matter of time” before dangerous F1 bouncing goes wrong
Why Leclerc could be only three laps short of a Baku F1 upset
Circuits with high top speeds have generally been Red Bull’s speciality so far this season but in the opening pair of practice sessions at Baku, Ferrari closed out Friday’s running on top with a good straightline speed advantage. But with Red Bull rival Max Verstappen out of sync in his practice runs, Ferrari and Charles Leclerc may not have seen his best.
The key strength Schumacher can rely on as Haas decides his F1 future
Michael Schumacher’s son has served his apprenticeship with a Haas team that brought up the rear of the Formula 1 field in 2021. Now he has a good car and a proper team-mate, he has to prove he belongs in F1. But his record to date, while not showing any points finishes, reveals there is plenty of promise he can build on
How classic Alonso strengths are helping him in a critical F1 phase 
Fernando Alonso has been involved in F1 for over two decades and shows no signs of slowing down. Ben Edwards digs into the work ethic and team-building ability which underpins Alonso’s longevity.
The overlooked flaws of the 2022 F1 cars that Baku will expose
OPINION: Though Formula 1’s return to ground-effect may have boosted overtaking, the other clear by-product of the technical overhaul has been weight gain. With wet conditions in Monaco stealing the show, the greatest shortcomings of the new rules will be on clear display at this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Is F1 barking up the wrong tree with its anti-jewellery stance?
In a new regular column, Maurice Hamilton draws on his decades of grand prix experience to give an alternative take on the news. First up, he ponders the ongoing brouhaha over jewellery…
The contrasting temperaments that could prove key in F1 2022 title fight
For the first time in a decade, Red Bull and Ferrari are properly fighting it out for the world championship – and, as Stuart Codling reveals, the duelling drivers are children of the 1990s who are picking up a similarly old grudge match from where they left off…
How star-studded Miami Grand Prix reveals F1’s direction of travel
Home to many a cinematic car chase, Miami has made a visually dramatic impact on the F1 calendar too – as one wag put it, they paved a parking lot and put up a paradise. GP Racing’s STUART CODLING was on the scene to sample a world of celebrities, fake marinas and imperilled six-foot iguanas…
Porpoising: A lesson from history and one of F1’s greatest teams
Although the 2022 Formula 1 season is destined to be forever linked to the word ‘porpoising’, this is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it’s a problem that was identified at the start of the first ground-effects era and has returned with a change in the rules that once more allow downforce-generating floors.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like