George Russell admits ‘messy, scrappy’ 2023 season has been the worst of his career

George Russell has managed only one podium in the entire season.


George Russell admits ‘messy, scrappy’ 2023 season has been the worst of his career

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell (Via IMAGO)

Mercedes faced a tough challenge at the Abu Dhabi GP qualifying, revealing ongoing issues with their 2023 challenger, the W14. Despite George Russell‘s impressive practice lead, disappointment ensued as he secured only a fourth-place starting position, trailing Max Verstappen by nearly four-tenths.

In the broader context, Russell faced a challenging season, being outpaced by his teammate, Lewis Hamilton in 15 out of 21 races. Qualifying, tied at 11 each, highlighted the tough competition within Mercedes. Russell experienced three DNFs including the Singapore GP crash while chasing a win, a mix of his errors and engine failures, contributing to his modest 8th place in the standings, overshadowed by Hamilton’s third.

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I want to finish the season on a high. It's been probably one of the worst seasons of my career in terms of results. It's just been a really scrappy, messy season. I don't think it's been through a lack of speed. We've had really strong pace in many, many races but just never achieved that result on a Sunday.
Russell said, as reported by Motorsport.com.

Adding to his woes were the incapabilities of his Mercedes W14. The W14’s inconsistency is evident, excelling in hot conditions during Free Practice 3 but struggling in cooler qualifying temperatures. This unpredictability frustrates the team, tarnishing their initially high expectations. The repeated explanations for performance fluctuations have become tiresome for all involved.

Challenges George Russell has faced throughout the season extend beyond misfortune

Russell cited various incidents throughout the season, emphasizing that the recurrent issues were more than just bad luck. The consistent challenges faced, from crashes to technical issues, highlighted underlying performance problems.

 Tiny little things... when it happens on maybe nine, 10, 11 occasions throughout the year, it's definitely not luck.
George Russell
George Russell (Credits: Motorsport.com)

Despite the difficulties, Russell aimed to finish the season on a high note. He acknowledged the team’s overall pace but stressed the need for improvement, stating, “Ultimately, the car isn’t quick enough.” The intense competition in Formula 1 magnified the impact of even minor mistakes, making consistent performance crucial.

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The team’s frustration was palpable as the season’s end neared. The qualifying struggles in Abu Dhabi encapsulated the overarching theme of a season characterized by missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential. Russell’s determination to finish on a high echoed the team’s collective desire to address the issues plaguing their 2023 campaign.

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