Canada performance shows Mercedes are “definitely on the right path” – Russell

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In the round-up: George Russell was encouraged by Mercedes’ pace at the Canadian Grand Prix.

In brief

Russell encouraged by Mercedes’ Canada pace

Russell retired from the race due to trouble with his brakes. He was running eighth at the time after clouting a wall hard in the early stages and pitting for repairs. He and team mate Lewis Hamilton started from the second row of the grid.

In the previous round in Spain Russell qualified 12th but rose up the order to take his first podium of the year in third place. His non-score in Canada means he has now dropped to sixth in the standings, but with Hamilton finishing on the podium again he sees signs of progress at Mercedes.

“I think going from Barcelona to here, two quite contrasting circuits, bodes well for the future,” said Russell in Canada after Sunday’s race.

“Of course, as a team, we’re looking for more than just second best. We need to close that gap to Red Bull, but [our pace here] definitely shows we’re on the right path.”

F1 paddock reaches sustainability landmark

Formula 1 has announced that all ten of its teams have now achieved FIA Three-Star Environmental Accreditation, the highest rating possible, making it the first motorsport championship to achieve such a feat.

The FIA’s Environmental Accreditation Programme is now into its 13th year, and uses 17 criteria to assess the environmental sustainability of series, circuits, competitors and manufacturers.

F1 itself received three-star accreditation in 2020, which has now been renewed, and its tyre supplier Pirelli has the highest level of accreditation too. By 2030, F1 plans to be a “net-zero carbon organisation.”

However more than half of the circuits F1 races at do not even have one-star accreditation from the FIA. Five hold three-star accreditation.

FIA shares details on future of junior categories

The second World Motor Sport Council meeting of 2023 took place yesterday in Spain, and among the changes approved were technical details for the single-seater categories below F1.

The next-generation Formula 2 and Formula 3 cars, being introduced in 2024 and 2025 respectively, will now be in use for a minimum of six years rather than three. The tendering process to supply the chassis for either of those has still not been revealed.

Meanwhile the Formula Regional category that sits below F3 has had the introduction of its Gen2 ruleset set for 2025. The choosing of that date had already been expected, and the first-generation cars from three different chassis constructors that have been in use since 2018 will continue to be raced next year. The future Formula Regional cars will have to follow F1 design trends, based on an aerodynamic brief from the FIA.

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Comment of the day

Charles Leclerc wanted to make an early switch from intermediate to slick tyres in the second segment of qualifying at the Canadian GP, but his Ferrari team told him to stay out to set a competitive lap time before switching as rain was on its way.

But slick tyres were the correct choice for the drying track, and once Leclerc did switch he did not go quick enough to reach Q3. He voiced his annoyance to the team and to the media, and later Ferrari’s team principal Frederic Vasseur gave Leclerc “the global picture” behind the strategy choice, which afterwards the team still believed was the right one.

A driver might have excellent intuition regarding current track conditions. He has zero intuition regarding incoming weather.

Vasseur is perfectly right: had the rain come during those first 3 laps, Albon’s quali would have been over. He went through in 1st place, but with the rain arriving a bit earlier, he might have been dead last. A backmarker can afford that sort of gamble, a top team cannot.

Ferrari (perfectly reasonably) put Leclerc on the safe strategy. It was not a sub-optimal strategy; it was the strategy the majority of teams/drivers opted for. It is fully on Leclerc that he could achieve less with that strategy than half the field.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jcost!

On this day in motorsport

  • On this day in 1953 Alberto Ascari scored his ninth consecutive win in a world championship race, setting a record Sebastian Vettel equally 60 years later

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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19 comments on “Canada performance shows Mercedes are “definitely on the right path” – Russell”

  1. Here hoping the Mercedes development doesn’t hit a wall.

    1. Seems doubtful.. as its a new concept. Honestly, this is the car they should have started pre-season testing with… as there would have been some hope of them catching Red Bull by the end of the year, given REd Bull’s dev restrictions.

      Unfortunately, I can’t see Mercedes closing the gap till at least the mid point of next season. They’ve lost half a season in their size zero sidepod concept.

  2. Who else believe Verstappen will end July with a 100+ point advantage in WDC?
    I suspect Liberty will intervene even harder in the championship as there is no hope for competition for win until 2026.
    I am not sure whether US audiences would endure such non event races.
    Without a unexpected Alonso performance, the rest of the field is offering nothing.

    1. There going to have to do BoP. Profit is Liberty’s only concern and they aren’t going to let this domination go past this year.

    2. What’s the difference with the last decade?

  3. But here’s F1′s dirty little secret: the racing has never been great and 2021 was an anomaly of a season.’

    That was supposed to be a secret??

    Reply moderated
    1. Apparently it is for many now complaining about Max dominance. They must have been snoozing during 2014-2020

  4. How many times this year will we hear “we’re definitely on the right path” from Mercedes and other teams who are nowhere near RBR level.

    Hopefully in some years time, Newey might tell us what the magic secret is that they’ve done with the RBR.

    1. @dbradock – Newey already told reporters what his focus on was this year and it wasn’t the floor ….
      As the other teams told the floor was interesting but not surprising.

      It was the rear suspension ……

  5. Both AP & ESPN articles are good.
    Regarding the former, yes, but those people should’ve considered before that, not every season might be similar, etc.
    Additionally, nothing concrete or more news has come about the Miami GP becoming a floodlit rumor, which would make little sense anyway.
    As for the latter: Ricciardo can desire to end at Red Bull Racing, but whether that happens, in reality, is another matter & not only has he stated more than once that he’d only want a full-time return in a top team, but Alpha Tauri is a definite no-go for a driver in his situation in any case.
    If De Vries were to get replaced for next season, Lawson would be the first choice, followed by Iwasa to a lesser extent/in some scenarios & I highly doubt both drivers would get changed for the same season.

    1. Having thought more about the matter subsequently, I don’t necessarily entirely rule out a Ricciardo-Lawson lineup because, while this would mean a total change from one season to the next, which hasn’t happened at Red Bull’s B-team for a little while.
      However, Ricciardo’s vast F1 racing experience would compensate more than enough, so not as bad as changing to two rookies in comparison.
      Still, I don’t see this lineup as the most likely outcome.

      1. I think the option of replacing de Vries half season and let Ricciardo proof himself for a RB seat next year is more likely as both de Vries and Checo are currently underperforming.

      2. @jerejj – i think Yuki get a chance before Richardo get the chance in a RB seat if Perez keep under-performing the rest of the season.

        1. @macleod – Probably
          @proesterchen – If you imply what I think you imply, wrong, because the former isn’t in the B-team because of Honda.

          1. What other reason would there be to have Yuki in a Formula 1 seat?

      3. One seat at Alpha Tauri will be filled by either Yuki or Ayumu.

  6. That seems a really short lead time for the new F2 chassis, if 2024 is the target. You need to produce 30 (ish) ready to race and spare tubs, plus hundreds and hundreds of the bits they keep braking.

    Have we even had any renderings yet ? “Looks similar to current F1” was the thing said back when

  7. Do any Americans feel condescended to by these kinds of articles? That you’re only here because you care about the number of different winners in a period of races, and explosions?

    Blaming DTS is very popular and all, but the media have been whining about F1 like this since time immemorial. The terminology has just been changed up a bit..

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