Mercedes has yet to win a race in 2022 after it has struggled to compete with Red Bull and Ferrari since overhauling its car designs for this season.
But after battling a harbor porpoise problem with its W13 car early in the year, Mercedes has moved closer to the top, taking podium finishes in eight of its last nine races.
Russell managed to finish third last time at Monza, despite Mercedes’ struggle to match the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari on the high-speed circuit.
Russell admitted Ferrari “surprised” him with his speed around Monza, leading to a “lone race” that left him happy to see the end of the high-speed run.
“Our car certainly didn’t perform at its best on this track,” said Russell after the race at Monza.
“I think we have a good idea why that is, and [we are] kinda happy that these low downforce, high speed circuits are now behind us.”
Mercedes turned out to be more competitive at Zandvoort than on high-speed circuits like Monza.
Photo By: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Mercedes has generally performed better this season on circuits with a lot of downforce, and recently showed its speed at the Hungaroring and Zandvoort.
Russell managed to score his first F1 pole in Hungary, while Mercedes was in contention for victory at the Dutch Grand Prix before a late safety car played against Russell and teammate Lewis Hamilton.
The strengths of the W13 car bode well for the upcoming series of circuits, starting with the Singapore street circuit in early October.
Asked if he thought Singapore would offer Mercedes more opportunities, Russell said there was “no doubt” compared to Monza, but remained wary of the bumpy track.
“On paper Singapore should suit our car,” said Russell.
“But when we look back on the road circuits of Monaco and Azerbaijan, our car doesn’t do very well over the bumps. So we’re not too sure how it will turn out.
“But we have to keep pushing, keep improving the car. I’m glad we have a clear direction to go in [in] now.”