Russell and Hamilton brave ‘absolutely crazy’ conditions in Mercedes shakedown at Silverstone

Mercedes’ 2022 Formula 1 W13 car took to the track for the first time, as their drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton took it for a spin in blustery Silverstone.

The eight-time constructors’ champions captured the eyes of the world as they launched their latest contender, the sparkling silver W13, on Friday morning before performing it at the site of the British Grand Prix in a shakedown of 100 km as part of a day of filming.

Russell couldn’t resist commenting on the unfavorable conditions during his visit: “Yes, I’m not sure how many of you are in the UK at the moment…but I would say it’s the windiest day I have ever experienced in my entire motorsport career.

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“It was absolutely crazy, but we managed to keep the car on the black. To be honest, we just went through the program of running it, making sure I was comfortable – which I am and with whom I am delighted.”

“I would say the car handled largely as we expected, but also with these conditions, in the wet and with the wind, there’s not much you can get out of it. Until “Right now we are well placed and I think we are in a good window before Barcelona.”

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The former Williams rider added that the conditions meant he and the team were taking the shakedown with a “pinch of salt”, with winds reaching 100km/h at Silverstone.

“I think the facts are that if you take the exact same car when there’s no wind and then put it in 100km/h winds, it’s going to feel very difficult to drive,” said Russell. “It certainly wasn’t easy in the conditions, but it was certainly in line with what we saw on the simulator.

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“I will go back and do the correlations this afternoon, but it will be a constant learning process. We will all take today with a pinch of salt, follow the program, make sure the car is running well, making sure the drivers are comfortable and making sure we are in the best possible place ahead of Barcelona.”

Hamilton took over from his team-mate later in the afternoon to complete the combined 100km, with the seven-time champion set for a 10th season with Mercedes as he seeks a record eighth title.

Pre-season racing will kick off in Barcelona from February 23-25, where Mercedes and its nine rivals will take to the track in earnest.

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