GEORGE RUSSELL says Mercedes “haven’t forgotten how to build a fast race car” and says the team are “building on top” of last season’s woes.
Merc were well off the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari in 2022.
Russell did, however, pick up Merc’s one and only win of the season in Brazil.
And ahead of the 2023 campaign, the Brit says his team still know what they’re doing in F1.
Russell is also confident the team will be competitive from the first race of the season.
He told BBC Radio Norfolk: “They haven’t forgotten how to build a fast race car.
“We just got it wrong this year.”
Russell continued: “We got the philosophy wrong. We went down a route which turned out to be the wrong route.
“Sometimes it takes you a long time to dig yourself out of that hole.
“Now I feel we’ve dug ourselves out of that hole and we’re building on top of that.
“We are a step behind Red Bull and Ferrari and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do – but we’re definitely going to be in a much stronger position from race one next year than we were this year.”
Russell managed to beat seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton in the standings last season.
In his debut campaign for Merc, Russell claimed 275 points to Hamilton’s 240.
Despite that, Russell is not proud of his start to life at the Silver Arrows.
He said: “I’m not going to walk away from this season with a huge amount of pride because I finished fourth in the championship.
“I’m here to win. We need to keep raising the bar.”
And Russell has issued a warning to team-mate Hamilton, who dreams of claiming a record-breaking eighth world crown.
Russell added: “I’m here for the long haul and even though I would have wanted victories and to be fighting for that championship in 2022, I think as a team the struggles are going to set us up much nicer for the coming years.
“So I hope I look back in 10 years time and say, actually this 2022 season was a positive one for the journey.”
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