George Russell hopes his team can move closer to battling Ferrari and Red Bull at the top of the grid from the Belgian Grand Prix.
In an attempt to limit excessive car bounce, the FIA will introduce measures aimed at stopping the phenomenon by enforcing an aerodynamic oscillation metric (AOM) that teams cannot exceed from the Spa-Francorchamps race.
In addition, the FIA is introducing measures to ban tricks believed to have been used by some teams to bend their floors and boards to gain performance.
Such a solution has met with resistance from some teams who argue that the FIA should not be involved in how teams set up their cars, while others claim that the development of the cars has led to a significant reduction in problems in recent races.
While the full effect of AOM will be realized at the Belgian GP, as it was only an advisory measure in the races before the summer break, Russell believes it could prove useful for Mercedes against Ferrari and Red Bull.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that Ferrari and Red Bull will push the regulations in that regard, and we respected that as the regulation was intended,” Russell said.
“But there are no guarantees that it would bring them closer to us. We know that it would slow us down if it was on our car. There is no guarantee, every car is different, but that won’t help them, that’s for sure,” the Mercedes driver is convinced.
Looking at Mercedes’ overall progress, Russell believes that if the German manufacturer can get within range of the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull then they can challenge for regular podiums and perhaps wins, as he is impressed by the rate of improvement his team has achieved with their W13 car.
“Max and Red Bull are cruising. “I think Max and Charles are on a similar level at the moment, but I really feel for Charles because he’s doing a great job at the moment and he’s been hit by a lot of unfortunate circumstances,” he added.
“Max and Red Bull are absolutely solid week after week. We’ve seen in the last few race weekends that I can just get the car to the finish line and pick up the parts, but there’s no doubt that we’re making progress.”
“As a team we finished almost a minute behind the race winners at the start of the season, but now it’s 10 seconds in the last few races. So, if we can continue on that path, we will definitely be in the hunt,” he believes.
“Spa will be interesting, there will be some changes in some rules that could bring other teams towards us, and I think that as a team we have a lot of confidence in ourselves and believe that we are doing a great job and there is no reason why we cannot be in the mix ,” Russell is clear.
Between the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in June and the Hungarian Grand Prix last month, Mercedes had at least one of its drivers on the podium in six races.
The first pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix came from a younger British driver, and at the Hungaroring, Hamilton and Russell were together on the podium.