Mercedes Duo Battle Back For Solid Points Finish

Mercedes Duo Battle Back For Solid Points Finish
Mercedes Duo Battle Back For Solid Points Finish

George Russell finished fourth and Lewis Hamilton sixth in the 2023 Miami Grand Prix. Lining up sixth and 13th respectively, George and Lewis took differing strategies with George starting on the medium tyre and Lewis the hard. In their opening stints, both drivers made steady progress whilst focusing on conserving tyre life.

George boxed on lap 17 to take the hard tyre. Whilst re-joining ahead of some drivers he was racing, he passed Esteban Ocon and closed down the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, overtaking him on lap 38 to take P4.

Lewis meanwhile bided his time on the hard tyre, whilst aiding his team-mates race by letting him past to attack cars ahead. He switched to the medium tyre on lap 37 and having re-joined in P13, used fresher rubber and impressive speed to carve his way through to P6 at the flag.

With a solid points haul, the Team closes the gap on second-placed Aston Martin in the Constructors’ Championship to six points.

George Russell

‘That was a really satisfying race for us today. After the challenges in Qualifying, it felt like a more normal day for us. To finish P4 on merit and finish ahead of the Ferraris was the maximum we could have achieved. The battle with Carlos (Sainz) was really enjoyable. I made a good move that needed a lot of commitment as the track is so dirty off-line. Thanks to Lewis for letting me by too and enabling me to get on with my race as we were in different battles today. We’ve got a really good relationship and we only want what is best for the Team. That’s what we are working towards.

‘We know where we are at the moment, and the car is still challenging to drive. We hope to have some updates on the car in Imola; they are not going to change the world for us but hopefully it will be a step in the right direction. Despite today’s positives, we know we’ve still got a lot of work to do and need to make significant improvements to close the gap to Red Bull.’

Lewis Hamilton

‘Today was a good race and I am happy we moved forwards. Saturday was difficult, but I always try to turn negatives into positives. Going from P13 to P6 is decent and I had a lot of fun making my way through; it was great to have several battles, so I enjoyed it. It wasn’t spectacular at the start as we were stuck in a DRS train and struggling to overtake. I had to bide my time and then eventually, I was able to start attacking. The car was much better on the medium tyre and came alive midway through the race.

‘It’s good points for the Team and I want to say a big thank you to all of them. They are keeping their heads down and working hard to improve. We’re not where we want to be, but the morale is still great.’

Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO

‘Two years ago, we wouldn’t have been as pleased with a P4 and a P6 as we are today. We know we have a difficult car though and clearly Qualifying was a real challenge. The car improved in the race, and we were able to achieve a solid result. Both drivers drove superbly today. It’s difficult to pass if you start P13 and are on the same strategy as everybody else, so we opted to start Lewis on the hard tyre. Others ahead chose to do the same and, after not gaining any positions at the start, it looked like it may be slightly diminished. We got there in the end though and maximised the result. It was also fantastic to see the way him and George worked together. They are both incredible drivers, but it is so straightforward with them. That is so good for us in this difficult moment.

‘We move on to Imola next and I hope that we will take a step in our understanding of the car. We are glass half empty people here at Mercedes; I don’t believe we will go there and be in the middle of the fight for victory. We are focused on understanding the upgrades we bring and establishing a good baseline.’

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

‘We can be satisfied with the result today considering our start positions. Our Qualifying performance yesterday meant that the podium places were out of reach for George, and Lewis had a real mountain to climb from 13th. Nevertheless, through great overtaking and fine teamwork, with Lewis allowing George through to attack cars ahead, we maximised our performance and points. We’ve therefore had a decent day in the championship; we’re in a close fight with Aston Martin and Ferrari and we’ve gained some ground.

‘We know we’re still not quick enough though and we’re working hard to rectify that as fast as we can. We will go back from here and try and understand why our single lap performance has been such a challenge.’

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