After a disappointing qualifying result from George Russell, the Mercedes driver has admitted that the car felt like a “different beast” when comparing it to FP2 on the Friday. While teammate Lewis Hamilton was able to qualify sixth on Saturday, George Russell didn’t make it through to Q3.
The Silver Arrows are still struggling with the performance of the W13, but have been “experimenting” with different setups to try and relinquish the car of its porpoising troubles. Russell’s car obviously went in the wrong direction, so he will be starting his race 12th on the grid behind a Ferrari 1-2 and a Red Bull 3-4. Valtteri Bottas sits in a smug 5th and Hamilton follows him.
Disappointing Quali after such an encouraging day yesterday. We’ll do our best to understand what happened and bounce back tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/i7rhiRzjrx
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) May 8, 2022
“The car was bouncing a lot more today and I just couldn’t attack any of the corners as a result,” Russell told the press.
“It’s a shame because we showed good potential yesterday but it massively went away from us today. We thought we went pretty conservative with set-up in qualifying to avoid the porpoising we experienced in FP3 but it seemed just as bad.
“The bouncing was going through all the corners, particularly turns 4 and 5, and you just couldn’t attack into the braking zone. When you get the car in the window, it’s fast and yesterday we looked to be fighting for pole but today is our worst qualifying of the year so it’s difficult to make sense of.”
He further told The Race that the car felt like a “different beast”:
“It’s definitely a surprise, but after driving the car and experiencing how it felt it’s no surprise.
“Today it felt like a totally different beast. We had loads of ‘porpoising’ today. We don’t understand why, and ultimately that was the difficulty.
“It was the first time I’ve ever felt it all the way through a corner. Through Turn 4 and Turn 5 it was just bouncing through it all, and then into all of the braking zones.
“It’s a shame because I was slower today than I was yesterday and everyone else has gone a second quicker.
“It’s just like the rear of the car is hopping around and you just don’t have any support or stability in the rear.
“Yesterday we were flying through sector one and had so much confidence in the car. It was a totally different beast today.”
“We are a bit confused, to be honest. It’s a real shame because I think there was potential in there and we saw yesterday we were really quick, and it’s just massively gone away from us today and don’t really know why.
“It’s not really making a lot of sense at the moment. When we get in the window it’s fast, but just a bit disappointed with myself and for the team.
“Yesterday we were looking like we were in the fight for pole, then today we qualified P12 which is the worst qualifying of the year.
“It doesn’t really make a lot of sense and it’s sort of flip-flopping massively, the performance.”