George Russell has predicted that the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez will suit the characteristics of the W14, giving Mercedes even better pace than in Qatar and Austin. This will be music to the ears of Lewis Hamilton, who was pushing Max Verstappen in the fight for victory in Texas.
A messy execution cost Russell dearly throughout the weekend in Texas, but Hamilton was on the pace of Verstappen and Lando Norris throughout all of the sessions, eventually getting the upper hand on the latter of that duo during the race on Sunday.
Hamilton crossed the line just two seconds behind Verstappen when the chequered flag waved, marking the closest Mercedes had come to a race win so far in 2023. This weekend’s trip to Mexico offers another opportunity for the seven-time world champion to end his race-win drought.
Addressing Mercedes’ chances in Texas, Russell explained: “The car was performing really well last year [in Mexico]. On paper, I’d say that this circuit suits us better than the likes of Austin and Qatar and Japan, at which [we] were still pretty competitive [at] too.
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“So I wouldn’t say we have high hopes here, but I think it should suit us slightly better. Bit of an unknown going to the C5 compound compared to the C4 last year, but we’re feeling optimistic heading into these two races (in Mexico and Brazil).
If Mercedes are to avoid navigating the entire 2023 season without a Grand Prix victory then the final two outings of this triple-header will be the most likely occasions on which they will do so.
Russell claimed his first-ever and currently only Grand Prix win at Interlagos last year, converting his triumph in the sprint race into victory on the Sunday, leading home a Mercedes one-two finish after Hamilton was involved in contact with rival Max Verstappen.
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Technical director James Allison was also confident about Mercedes’ chances ahead of the trip to Mexico City, explaining: “We’ve got Mexico first, high altitude, thin air, a track where the asphalt is quite different to the ones we’ve just been at.
“And as long as we can keep the car cool there in the thin air of the Mexico track then I think we will be pretty decent. The corners ought to suit us, and the pace of the car should be good there.”
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