Mercedes admit Japanese GP F1 mistakes following George Russell's 'worst decision' jibe
Mercedes double stacked Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at start of resumed race despite Russell's calls to stop earlier, and British driver eventually finished eighth; Mercedes admit multiple failings, and also reveal upgrade plans for the United States GP
Last Updated: 13/10/22 3:50pm
Mercedes have admitted they made multiple mistakes during their frustrating Japanese GP weekend, including a decision George Russell called their "worst".
Lewis Hamilton finished fifth behind the Alpine of Esteban Ocon in Sunday's rain-shortened race while Russell only managed eighth.
A lack of straight-line speed was an issue - and in Mercedes' latest race review, trackside engineering boss Andrew Shovlin admits "overtaking was very, very hard" and that "the right decision would have been a lower downforce setting" - but so was team strategy.
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Mercedes double stacked Hamilton and Russell, slowly, three laps into the resumed race, despite other drivers pitting sooner for intermediate tyres and finding pace and ultimately positions in clear air.
Russell dropped down to 14th as a result of that call and said on team radio it was the "worst decision we've made".
After the race, he said: "We need to review what went on. I was right behind Lewis and double stacking I was just going to lose all the positions.
"We need to sit down and see what we could have done better. At the time, it was not the right thing to do."
The world champions, still without a race win in 2022, have conceded their error.
"We've gone through all the timing of that and we have concluded that no, it wasn't the right decision," said Shovlin. "We should have done what George was asking which was to give him the lap in in clean air.
"Now, we had seen that the intermediates were a lot quicker, so on the wets you would have lost time on track. But the problem was George and Lewis were a bit too close for us to be able to do the pit stop without losing some time and that time ultimately cost George the position to Tsunoda and possibly even the position to Lando.
"So it gave him a bit more of a challenge to deal with having to pass those cars to try and find any clean air."
Mercedes planning final upgrade of 2022 for Austin
Shovlin has also revealed that Mercedes are planning to debut their final aerodynamic upgrade of the season at the United States GP.
Falling well behind Red Bull and Ferrari at the start of 2022's new F1 era, Mercedes have brought plenty of updates this season which have helped them close the gap, but still haven't resulted in that elusive first victory.
The team are planning a big change for their 2023 car but still have a big upgrade in their locker for Austin, the first of four races remaining on October 23. The whole weekend is live on Sky Sports F1.
"It's our final step of aero development and that will hopefully give us a bit more performance but importantly with every step, we are learning more and more and that learning we can carry into next year," stated Shovlin.
"So that's part of it, also there is a few bits where we have taken some weight out of components that will hopefully get the car closer to the weight limit. It's very difficult for us to predict where we are going to be."
Asked how competitive Mercedes could be, he added: "In Singapore, Lewis was awfully close to pole position, yet in Suzuka, both cars had a big gap to the front.
"Now, our race pace has been reasonably strong, so, if we can make a step hopefully, we can get into the fight with the Ferraris and the Red Bulls but qualifying for us is the really difficult one to predict at the moment.
"But as I said, a lot of it is about learning and we are certainly going to give it our best shot in the final four races."