Mercedes currently sit third in the championship, but they are not very far away from Ferrari currently in P2: Just 30 points, which is very much doable. Especially if Ferrari continue to spiral much like the way they have done since Imola, it is not out of the question that Mercedes will jump them in the standings.
Mercedes also seem to have the technical directives on their side: Both the ‘porpoising’ technical directive and a potential ‘flexi-floor’ clampdown should finally, on paper, help them move closer to the two, on pace. Because apart from a few weekends, they have just not been as fast as the other two teams.
But Mercedes do have consistency, the driver performances and even fortune squarely on their side: Unlike Ferrari (and earlier on, Red Bull) they have not had any reliability scares or problems this year, even if they have not always been there on pace. That has put them in a position to take advantage of mistakes or failures upfront, an opportunity they have always taken up.
George Russell has just been fantastic, and a model of consistency, and Lewis Hamilton after a slow-ish start, has now caught up with him as well, which signals even better things in the future for the Silver Arrows. The fact that they have also just been much more competitive on pace in the last few races is an even better indicator. They have scored at least one podium in each of the last five races.
George Russell: “We will definitely be in the hunt”
In a interview published on Motorsport, George Russell looked back on the season till now and talked about what may lie in the future. A topic of interest was the technical directive about ‘vertical oscillations’ that is set to go into effect in Belgium. Russell thinks that the technical directive along with a potential flexi-floor clampdown can help Mercedes in the fight with Red Bull and Ferrari.
He said: “I think there is no doubt that Ferrari and Red Bull will have pushed the regulations in that regard and we’ve respected it as the regulation was intended. But there is no guarantees that it would bring them closer to us. We know if it was on our car it would make us slower. There is no guarantees, every car is different but it is not going to help them that is for sure.”
Red Bull have rather comfortably settled into a rhythm this season and have been relatively spotless, especially when compared with Ferrari: “Max and Red Bull are cruising. I think Max and Charles, they are on a similar level at the moment but I really feel for Charles because he is doing a superb job at the minute and he has been on the receiving end of a lot of bad luck.”
He thinks that Mercedes have made inroads and a lot of progress this season: “As a team we finished almost a minute behind the race winner at the start of the season but now it is 10 seconds in the last couple of races. So if we can continue on that path we will definitely be in the hunt.”
Russell calls Spa ‘interesting’, saying that changes in regulations may bring other teams closer to them, adding that Mercedes have a lot of faith in themselves and that there is no reason they ‘can’t be in the mix’.