George Russell hints Mercedes could steal Red Bull design for next season

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GEORGE RUSSELL picked up his seventh podium of the season at the Italian Grand Prix.

Italian Grand Prix: Preview lap of Formula One track

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George Russell has failed to rule out that Mercedes could copy designs from Red Bull in a bid to close the gap for next season. Mercedes struggled again at the Italian Grand Prix with Russell unable to keep up with the pace of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. 

Afterwards he said: “We’ve got to keep on developing this car. Next season will be an evolution of this and I think now, we do have a totally clear direction of how to develop.” Russell was then pushed on his remarks, with the Mercedes star asked if the team would be looking at the Red Bull and Ferrari at all ahead of next season.

He responded: “I think nothing’s off the table. For sure we have obviously a pretty unique design with the side pods. It’s not off the cards that we will continue with that design.

“But it’s equally not off the cards that we will totally change philosophy. But ultimately if we have the wide side pods or the narrow side pods, that isn’t the performance differentiator, there’s more to it.”

READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton aims Max Verstappen title dig after Italian Grand Prix

George Russell hints Mercedes could steal Red Bull design for next season

George Russell has failed to rule out a change of design (Image: Sky Sports F1)

Russell has now secured four podiums over the last five race weekends as he extends his championship advantage over his Mercedes team-mate. Lewis Hamilton finished P5 at Monza after battling from the back of the field having taken a grid penalty for new engine parts. 

However, Russell stressed Mercedes could not be too disappointed as they were still picking up results despite the car lacking pace. He commented: “I think we understand exactly why circuits like Zandvoort and Budapest we are competitive

“And we understand why on circuits like this and Spa we were uncompetitive. That doesn’t mean we can solve the issues overnight.”

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George Russell hints Mercedes could steal Red Bull design for next season

Mike Elliott previously suggested Mercedes could pinch other teams designs (Image: Getty)

Earlier this season, Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott suggested the team were considering taking inspiration from other teams designs. Elliott explained: “I think we’d be silly not to have a level of humility that you think you’ve potentially got it wrong and you go and look at what everybody else has done.

“That’s not just the Red Bull concept, that’s looking at all the concepts up and down the grid and saying, ‘What looks interesting and why?'”

He added: “We’ll go and look and say, ‘What do we think the Red Bull bodywork does and why does it do that?’ The same for all the other cars up and down the grid.”

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