Mercedes is still looking for the “gremlin inside the W13”, although the results are not as bad as their comments reveal. They are third in the constructors’ championship and have been on the podium twice, in Bahrain (Hamilton) and Australia (Russell). The young Englishman is fourth in the World Cup and the seven-time champion, sixth, with Carlos Sainz between them. So his start to the season is no worse than that of a driver who has the car that won two races and has signed the most podiums in 2022. paddock they are no longer feared, that is the reality, Ferrari and Red Bull know that they will play this World Cup between them, but they do hope that the Brackley-based team will pick up the pace at some point in the year, perhaps after the summer, and return to fighting for victories on circuits that are not unfavorable to their package.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes competition director, reveals that it is not yet out of the question to return to the old aerodynamic configuration, of the Barcelona tests, and that the Spanish GP will be key to evaluating progress in these months: “If you look at the grid, our floor is wider than that of the other cars and that offers more possible instability. The car that we had in Barcelona is slower, on paper, but we have to figure out how to make our car more predictable for the drivers.” “Go back to the old concept? I wouldn’t rule anything out, but our people deserve the benefit of the doubt, they have produced great cars and we will see if this is the way. In Barcelona we will be able to correlate what we have done since February. But this is physics, it is not mysticism,” says the Austrian leader.
“We have been honest from the beginning, we are flying through the fog. It’s clear that the car is fast and has potential, but we just don’t understand how to unlock its power. It is a car that is very difficult to drive, always on the limit, and more time outside than inside the ideal working window. It is a painful process, it takes a long time and the data sometimes does not prove what the pilots tell us. It’s not predictable or comfortable to drive, but the data doesn’t show that. We haven’t had that situation in previous years where there is no correlation between the data and what our drivers are saying, and that makes it more difficult,” says Wolff, aware that the comments coming in, especially from Hamilton, they force them to take a step forward in the short or medium term.
Soon for the change to 2023
in what still nobody wants to think about the Mercedes of 2023, because that would mean that this season’s car has to be left in standbyreveals Toto: “It’s very early days. We’re still committed to this concept and we need it, because if we give the other a 50% chance, we have to make the change now. We trust this concept. In fact, we have to understand, before one supposed change to the other, why the previous concept would have gone wrong. That is why Barcelona will be the real correlation, and then we will look in the mirror and ask ourselves: have we done it wrong?” There is still no answer.