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Mercedes reveal how Hamilton Russell body language has changed

Mercedes reveal how Hamilton Russell body language has changed

F1 News

Mercedes reveal how Hamilton Russell body language has changed

Mercedes reveal how Hamilton Russell body language has changed

Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott has revealed the body language of drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell has significantly altered following the latest upgrade to the W13.

In tandem with the new front and rear wings introduced at the Miami Grand Prix and the understanding of how to best extract the performance from those components, the W13 now boasts, in particular, a new floor for this weekend's Spanish GP.

The result seen in Friday practice is an end to the violent porpoising experienced by Hamilton and Russell across the first five races that was dramatically affecting performance and lap time.

For Elliott, that translated into far happier drivers during Friday's debrief and the possibility of Mercedes mixing it with early title challengers Ferrari and Red Bull in qualifying and the race at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.

"After Miami, we went through the data and tried to understand what had happened between Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and there were a few clues that came out of that," said Elliott, given the performance drop-off after Russell was quickest in Friday practice.

"The package we brought here, we are definitely able to run the car much more closely in a position where ideally we'd be able to run it so there is a chunk of downforce that comes from that, and the car is a lot more settled.

"The drivers look happy now. The body language that's come from them says they feel a car that feels a bit more like a race car but until we get into qualifying and the race it's difficult to know where we are.

"In terms of the overall car concept, it's still a bit too early to say. We've changed the car so much for this weekend that we need to work out how to get the best out of it.

"We need to work out what more lap time there is in it, and then do the assessment as to whether we think overall this is the better direction to develop in.

"But there is a budget cap we are facing, and as a consequence of that you have to make good decisions about what we do for the rest of this year but also what we do for next year."

Hamilton bounce back "brilliant" for Mercedes

Elliott feels Hamilton, in particular, has responded well to the challenge he has faced so far this year, especially given the traumatic ending to last season when he missed out on a record-breaking eighth title in controversial circumstances.

Alongside Russell, Elliott feels the two drivers have so far worked well in a bid to help Mercedes return to the front as quickly as possible.

"I guess we all have expectations, drivers included, and we'd have hoped we wouldn't be in the position we've been in at the beginning of this season, and that's been tough for the whole team," added Elliott.

"What happened at the end of last season was tough for Lewis to take, and to see him bounce back and be racing with us is brilliant. He's got a tough team-mate in George and that's brilliant for the team.

"If you look at the first five races, unfortunately, Lewis has been on the wrong end of some safety car timings.

"But going forward I couldn't want for two better drivers. They're really helping us develop the car and move it in the right direction.

"If we can give them a car they can compete with, I'm sure they're both going to push really hard, and hopefully Lewis can win another championship."

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