Russell says Mercedes have respected regulations more than Red Bull and Ferrari

George Russell has suggested Red Bull and Ferrari have not been respecting a key technical regulation ahead of a clampdown by the F1’s governing body, the FIA.

Mercedes have had to play catch-up on Red Bull and Ferrari for most of the season so far, although their pace at recent races has been encouraging. Lewis Hamilton and Russell, who started on pole, finished second and third at the Hungarian Grand Prix, ahead of both Ferraris. And Russell believes the Silver Arrows could be even more competitive when the season resumes in Belgium after the summer break.

“There’s no doubt we are making progress as a team,” Russell told Sky Sports F1 after the race at the Hungaroring.

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“At the start of the season, we were finishing a minute behind the lead. Now it’s 10 seconds in the last couple of races. If we can continue on that path, we will definitely be in the hunt.

“Spa is going to be interesting. There’s some changes to some little regulations which may bring other teams towards us. I think we, as a team, have a lot of confidence and faith in ourselves that we are doing a great job and there’s no reason why we can’t be in that mix.”

Those changes will see rules regarding so called flexi-floors tightened up, which could hinder the top two teams. Pressed on issue, Russell added: “There’s no doubt Ferrari and Red Bull have pushed the regulations in that regard and we have respected it as the regulation was intended.

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“But there’s no guarantees that it will bring them closer to us. We know, if it was on our car, it would make us slower. Every car is different, but it’s not going to help them, that’s for sure.”

Russell’s outspoken views came as something of a surprise, with Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok saying: “That’s the first time I’ve heard anyone say that so clearly, that he thinks Ferrari and Red Bull have pushed the envelope more than they have. The stopwatch never lies. We’ll get to Spa and find out.”


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