In 2023, McLaren participated in three rounds of competition but faced difficulties in achieving a competitive performance, resulting in them scoring a point.
Recently, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri have received numerous upgrades, resulting in Norris achieving back-to-back second-place finishes and Piastri consistently placing within the top five.
Although McLaren is currently 136 points behind Mercedes in second place in the constructors’ standings, Russell is confident that they pose a real challenge in the battle for the remaining positions behind the dominant Red Bull team.
Russell stated that the Woking outfit is undeniably a strong contender for the second fastest team.
“It’s quite peculiar how Aston Martin clearly ranked as the second-best at the beginning of the year.”
Currently, they don’t appear to be very competitive. Ferrari hasn’t made significant advancements, while McLaren has experienced a substantial leap.
If it weren’t for McLaren, we would be extremely content with the advancements we are achieving. Surpassing the middle group and creating a distance from our competitors, while also getting closer to Red Bull.
“McLaren has unexpectedly entered the competition. However, this provides hope that there is potential for significant progress.”
I have faith in my team. I believe it instills confidence and positivity within us, enabling us to progress towards Red Bull.
Our main focus is not on McLaren, Aston, or Ferrari. Instead, we are directing our attention towards Red Bull, aiming to take a significant leap forward.
George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14
Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
Russell experienced a remarkable comeback in the Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend, starting from 18th on the grid. Despite being informed by Mercedes’ strategists that finishing 11th was the most likely outcome, he managed to climb up to sixth place when the race concluded.
Russell is satisfied with the outcome, but he considers it as evidence that Hungary was a chance that was not taken advantage of.
Russell mentioned to Autosport/Motorsport.com that the strategies indicated P11 as the most realistic option, while P7 would be achievable if we optimize all factors.
“I cannot reword”
However, it is evident that this weekend may have been a missed chance. I firmly believe that I could have been on par with Lewis yesterday. This circuit holds a special place for me, as the car consistently excels here.
“If there are two cars competing for P2, it provides numerous possibilities and Lewis also displayed great strength. If circumstances had been slightly different, he could have secured P2 too.”
We will take this as a lesson from a lost chance and use it to improve. However, the good news is that we are surpassing Aston and Ferrari in progress.