Lewis Hamilton and George Russell talk about Mercedes’ chances at Las Vegas GP and working to improve in Formula 1 2024 | Formula 1 news

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell talk about Mercedes’ chances at Las Vegas GP and working to improve in Formula 1 2024 |  Formula 1 news

Mercedes teammates talk to Sky Sports Ahead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix on the team’s current form on the back of a miserable Brazil and the ongoing work to fight back in 2024; Watch the Las Vegas GP live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Showcase, with Sunday’s race at 6am


15:24 UK time, Wednesday 15 November 2023

Formula 1 arrives in Las Vegas to race under the neon lights of the Strip for the first time, aiming to put on a show befitting the city’s slogan of the entertainment capital of the world.
For Mercedes, the desire to deliver competitive performance on the all-new street layout is particularly strong as it stands on the back of their dismal performance in the recent race in Brazil, which team boss Toto Wolff described as his worst weekend in Formula 1.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News At a Mercedes and IWC event in Las Vegas before the race weekend, Hamilton said the team now “100 per cent knows what went wrong” in setting up the W14 car at Interlagos, but they could not yet be sure how unpredictable the car turned out. Throughout the season he will achieve in Vegas.

“But in the end, we didn’t do a good job,” Hamilton, who finished seventh, 63 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen, added for Brazil.

“But there are a lot of lessons learned from it in terms of where we need to go and where we need to improve.

“Through failure, there are always a lot of things we learn from those experiences. So, coming here, I think we have a better approach but we still don’t know what the car will be like here.”

Mercedes have two races remaining to avoid a first winless season since 2011 – two seasons before Hamilton and Wolff join the dominant team in Formula 1. But their biggest priority is securing second place in the Constructors’ Championship, where they hold a 20-point lead over Ferrari.

“It’s not a world championship-winning car and I don’t even think it might be a race-winning car,” said Hamilton, who last won a race. “That’s what we’ll have to work on next year.” In Saudi Arabia in December 2021.

“But either way we will be fighting to try to stay at the front with Ferrari and the fact that we are in contention for second place in the constructors’ title is amazing considering where we started. So I really hope we can maintain that position.”

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His teammate George Russell speaks to Sky Sports At the same promotional event at Speed ​​Vegas, he said the cold nighttime conditions in which the lit track sessions are scheduled to take place could make the event “a weekend full of opportunities” in a season completely dominated by Red Bull and Max Verstappen.

“It will be a bit of an unknown for sure, because Pirelli tires are challenging at the best of times,” Russell said. “But they have been developed to work in warm climates.”

“We always talk about tarmac temperature which usually runs between 30-60 degrees while the estimates are probably between 10-15 degrees here. That’s twice as cold as the tires normally handle. So it’s going to be tough to qualify.” Get your (their) temperature. Race, tires will be grainy.

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“So the weekend will be full of opportunities.

“But, who knows, maybe we will go out there, see that the tires are performing well and see them in the same order as we have done recently.”

‘We know why we’re slow’ | Can Mercedes deliver for 2024?

Mercedes’ long-term goal remains to return to title contention, so next Formula 1 season represents a crucial winter for them as they build what they have confirmed will be a very different contender for 2024.

Russell says he and Hamilton have been consistent in their comments on the W14 this year. He insists Mercedes understands why it was off Red Bull’s pace – and now intends to turn that understanding into a big step forward in 2024.

“We have different leadership styles but the basic constraints we face are the same,” Russell said. Sky Sports News.

“At the end of every week, we choose who goes first in our post-session debriefing and often whoever speaks second says the same thing he said. So it’s always a good sign when the driver who speaks second, whatever weekend it is, often says the same thing he said,” he said. Because it shows that we are on the same page, and it shows that the issues are clear.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff gave the car a harsh assessment after a “miserable” weekend for both drivers in Sao Paulo.

“We’re cautiously optimistic going into next year. We’re not sitting here thinking why are we slow?” “We know why we’re slow. We have a lot of problems with this car and a lot of problems we want to solve. This gives us hope that if we solve them, we can take a big step forward. But we need to go out there and actually make it happen.”

When asked if he would be more involved at the factory in winter work than in previous years, Hamilton replied: “We’ve done a lot of the work we’ve done during the year already. I’m basically in a group chat with different departments.” ‘I’ll always check. But, of course, I’ll separate; I’ll have to leave the guys to do what they do best. But I’ll always say ‘Hey, I wonder how things are going?’

“But you just have to give them time, it takes time to develop. It’s baby steps every week. On top of that, I have to get my head in the right place, I have to get back fit and get ready for next season and spend time with my family.” “It was a killer season.”

Wolff talks about ‘personal anger and motivation’ as Hamilton secures record eighth title

Earlier this year Hamilton extended his contract with Mercedes for a further two years, meaning the 38-year-old has at least two more seasons to win what would be a record eighth world title.

Speaking in an interview with Palestinian Authority News Agency, Mercedes boss Wolff made clear his strong desire for the team to hand over a car to Hamilton to achieve the feat two years after the controversial events at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when then race director Michael Masi failed to implement the correct safety car rules.

“We live on a hamster wheel where time passes so quickly that it doesn’t feel like two years have passed,” Wolf said.

“You can see how quickly the standings have changed. We’ve won eight constructors’ championships in a row, and it’s been two years since Red Bull took the trophy home. But we have to look forward, learn from the past, and the motivation now is to get Lewis to wins quickly again.

“I have personal anger, and I want to make him win the eighth title because he should have had it.

“As a team manager, it’s important to be fair and open with both drivers. But there’s a big part of us that will always want to be part of that story in coming back from 2021 and getting through it.”

When to watch the Las Vegas GP live on Sky Sports

Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater takes a look at the Las Vegas Formula 1 circuit and what we can expect from the ‘star-studded’ race

Thursday 16 November

  • 5:30 a.m.: Driver press conference (replayed at 8 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.)
  • 1:45 p.m.: Las Vegas Grand Prix opening ceremony

Friday 17 November

  • 4 a.m: Las Vegas GP Practice One (session starts at 4.30am)
  • 7:45 AM: Second Las Vegas GP practice (session starts at 8am)
  • 9:15 AM: Formula 1 Show: Las Vegas

Saturday 18 November

  • 4:15 AM: Third Las Vegas GP practice (session starts at 4.30am)
  • 7am: Preparation for Las Vegas Grand Prix qualifying (also in Sky Showcase)
  • 8 a.m.: Las Vegas GP qualifying (Also on Sky Showcase)
  • 10am: Ted’s Qualified Notebook

Sunday 19 November

  • 4:30am: Grand Prix Sunday: Las Vegas GP preparations (also in Sky Showcase)
  • 6 a.m.: Las Vegas Grand Prix (Also on Sky Showcase)
  • 8am: Checkered flag: Las Vegas GP reaction (also on Sky Showcase)
  • 9am: Ted’s Notebook (also on Sky Showcase)

Get ready for the big event: Formula 1 in Las Vegas! Watch drivers race along the Strip, past landmarks such as Caesars Palace and Bellagio, on Formula 1’s newest street track. Watch the entire Las Vegas GP weekend live on Sky Sports F1, starting on Friday with lights out on Sunday at 6am. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW

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