George Russell fears Mercedes title bid will be over for him and Lewis Hamilton unless major changes made… and quickly

GEORGE RUSSELL says Mercedes can kiss goodbye to their title hopes if they don’t resolve their problems quickly.

The Silver Arrows are hampered by an aerodynamic problem called proposing – when the car moves up and down as it strikes the ground at top speed.

George Russell has told Mercedes they need to solve their car’s problems quicklyCredit: Splash

Lewis Hamilton could only finish tenth in Saudi Arabia on Sunday

Lewis Hamilton could only finish tenth in Saudi Arabia on SundayCredit: Rex

Mercedes have cured it by raising the ride-height of the car however, that has compromised their downforce and made them slower.

Russell was fifth in Jeddah at the weekend while his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, was only 10th, as Red Bull and Ferrari continue to look strong.

Russell said: “If we don’t manage to find some improvements there’s no way we’ll be in with a shot of fighting for the championship.

“I did my best to keep up with the Red Bulls but we’re a second behind them generally and we’ve got work to do.

Verstappen snatches dramatic late win from Leclerc with Hamilton 10th
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“Everybody knows what we need to improve on. We finished 30 seconds behind them after probably 30 laps behind the safety car.

“We’re continuing to learn, but we need to make some leaps and bounds and we’re struggling to find that silver bullet to resolve our issues.

“I’ve got no doubt when we do that we will find that chunk of lap time but as I’ve said before it’s easier said than done.

“We are going to start trying to develop the car around the issues but we need to solve the underlying problem which is the proposing.

“All of these cars perform best at low ride height and we can’t get anywhere close to where our rivals are running.

“We’re doing everything we can back at base to try and emulate the issues we are seeing on track and I’m sure we can solve it.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says seeing his team struggle for points after eight consecutive constructor championships is “painful”.

He said: “We had the luxury of being right in the middle of those fun games at the front these past eight years.

“As an F1 stakeholder I’m benefitting from a great show but on the other side, it’s extremely painful to be not part of the fun games by quite a chunk of a deficit.

“We are not going to rest until we are back in the mix. It’s no fun at all. The exercise in humility will make us stronger in the end.

“The cars delivered on what F1 hoped for; great overtaking and providing a great show. I think it was entertaining to watch.

“F1 has achieved what they wanted to achieve, spectacular racing, good overtaking and the grid has been shaken up.

“The midfield is extremely close so overall I’m happy about the hype around F1. You can only applaud the changes.

“But we are not running the car where we wanted. I would hope the gap is closer than what we have seen, but there are deficits everywhere.”

Reigning champion Max Verstappen claimed victory in Jeddah

Reigning champion Max Verstappen claimed victory in JeddahCredit: EPA

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