Grand prix

George Russell “almost forgetting about the upgrades” due to Monaco’s “unique” layout | F1

The iconic Monte Carlo venue is tight and twisty, made up of low-speed corners.

Typically, teams tend to introduce new parts and upgrades at conventional grand prix tracks such as Barcelona which consist of a range of different corners.

However, due to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix being cancelled last week due to heavy flooding, teams like Mercedes have been forced to run them for the first time in Monaco.

Speaking after Friday practice for the Monaco Grand Prix, Russell says Mercedes’ focus is on improving the handling of the W14 for this weekend rather than on the upgrades.

“I think as we said yesterday, Monaco is such a unique circuit,” he said. “It’s not really the place to be evaluating any upgrades or changes – we knew that coming into the weekend. 

“We’re almost forgetting about the upgrades – we will worry about that next weekend and just try and improve around here. Qualifying is obviously the most important part of the weekend and qualifying is part of the weekend we generally struggle. 

“We generally do better on a Sunday if you look at the last 18 months. We need to try and figure some stuff out overnight. There’s definitely some positive signs to take from the session, definitely improved from FP1. It’s never easy around this place.”

Mercedes have traditionally struggled in qualifying since the start of these new regulations in 2022.

With qualifying so important in achieving a good result in Monaco, Russell expects it won’t be an “easy day” for the team tomorrow.

“We made a lot of [setup] changes,” he added. “Things we would have done on the previous iteration of the car as well. As I say it’s not anything unique at all to these new updates. 

“We will work overnight to see what more we can do to get more out of the tyres. We know that the base performance of the car is good and we normally overachieve on a Sunday and underachieve on a Sunday. We need to try and flip those over this weekend. I am not expecting tomorrow to be an easy day but we will work hard and see what we can do.”

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