Mercedes junior driver George Russell says the manufacturer has been able to unlock much more power from its engine in race trim as a result of the banning of ‘quali modes’.
“I think unfortunately it will probably affect us and Racing Point more than Mercedes,” said Russell. “Purely because Mercedes are so far ahead in qualifying anyway.
“If anything it’s only going to help them even more in the race. So the whole idea of trying to slow them down is actually going to go completely the opposite way and is only going to enhance their performance.
“I think on a Saturday it will probably compromise us a tenth or two. But we expect it to also compromise the other manufacturers a tenth or so. So we are probably net one-tenth down on a Saturday.
“But on a Sunday we’re definitely net up by a big margin. And I think what Mercedes have done to improve the engine to allow us to run a very high engine mode for the whole race is really impressive and she’s going to be flying on the Sundays.”
Russell’s team mate Nicholas Latifi has tested the changes to the Mercedes engine in their simulator and also believes they will gain more power in the race.
“Like George said, it’s going to be a few tenths, tenth or so, in qualifying, it’s going to hurt us a bit.
“But in the race it’s only going to help us so we’re going to have more allocation, more laps of a higher engine mode that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to run for so long. So it’s going to be interesting to see how it stacks up.”
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