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George Russell remains focused on ‘progress’ at F1 Monaco Grand Prix

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George Russell remains focused on ‘progress’ at F1 Monaco Grand Prix

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Coming out of last weekend’s Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, “progress” was the theme coming from Mercedes. The team brought the second half of their upgrades for the W15 — a process that began at the Miami Grand Prix — and with Lewis Hamilton finishing sixth and George Russell finishing seventh and picking up a bonus point for the fastest lap, the team highlighted their progress following the race.

Heading into this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, that progress remains the theme.

“Yeah, the car is definitely more balanced through through the lap now,” said Russell at Thursday’s FIA Press Conference. “We were struggling a lot at the start of the year, balancing the the height of low speed corners, and I think it we have made progress.”

Russell conceded that teams such as McLaren and Ferrari have made also made some steps forward, but highlighted how Mercedes has closed the gap to Red Bull at the front.

“When you look at the gap to Red Bull and you look at the gap to the rest of the midfield, we have moved forward. But I do think it’s fair to say Ferrari and McLaren have have moved forward at the same rate,” added Russell. “So we need to to keep on working, bringing those upgrades to the car. And, you know, the whole team are working flat out right now to bring those upgrades as as quick as possible.”

The Mercedes driver also outlined how the team’s struggles in finding the right balance for the W15 between high-speed corners and the low-speed corners that dominate the circuit in Monaco might finally be resolved.

Partly due to the many low-speed corners the drivers will attack on the Monte Carlo streets.

“I think we’ve known all season that we struggle to balance high to low speed,” said Russell. “We can either get quite competitive [at] low speed, and we struggle at high speed or vice versa So we are hoping that with relatively consistent corner speeds at this circuit, we should be slightly more competitive.”

Still, Monaco always has some tricks up its sleeve for the grid.

“I think as as the guys have been saying, Monaco is so challenging. There’s so many disruptions throughout the whole weekend and you just need to find that sweet spot,” outlined Russell.

“The track’s evolving so much, it’s getting faster and faster often, you know, up to three seconds quicker in qualifying than it is [in practice]. So even if you have a good Friday, you need to be ready to adapt moving into Saturday.

“And you know, we saw [that] today. I was sort of in the engineering meeting and it was bright blue sunshine and I came out and it was pouring down with rain so that could add some spice to things.”

Mercedes enters the Monaco Grand Prix sitting fourth in the Constructors’ Championship with 79 points, 35 points clear of fifth-place Aston Martin. However, the Silver Arrows trail third-place McLaren by 75 points, with McLaren’s 154 points on the year almost doubling Mercedes’ tally.

They’ll need a big week to cut into that deficit.

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