Mercedes hopes to come back stronger next year. After dominating the grid for eight straight years, they just lost it last year. The beginning of the cost cap era marked the end of the turbo-hybrid era, along with the hegemony of the Silver Arrows. Albeit the German team dominated from 2014 to 2021, they faced fierce rivalry from the other powerhouses. However, in recent times, they have won only one Grand Prix in the last two years. This year, Mercedes remained winless with their W14 car.
It was clear from the start that they didn’t have a car to compete against Red Bull’s RB19. However, it turned out that no team had a car to beat RB19’s speed. Arguably, RB19 has been the fastest F1 car ever. But Mercedes just used this year to understand the car more. They changed their zero-side pod concept in the middle of the year. Albeit, the drivers liked the new upgrades, it didn’t help them to win a race. Anyway, James Allison hopes to make a lot of progress with the 2024 car.
James Allison Is Hopeful About Next Year’s Car
Recently, in an interview with Performance Podcast, the Technical Director of Mercedes mentioned he’s not sure if the team can get back to their glory days. He hopes that the team gets back to being competitive again. After all, they have been working on an “Ambitious program.” Adding to that, Allison mentioned that it is not enough to win a race to claim they are competitive again. But the Mercedes Technical Director feels they have put enough of a program of work to see themselves fight for both championships again. Since winning both in 2020, the German team hasn’t won constructor’s and driver’s titles in the same year ever again.
Red Bull has been winning both titles for back-to-back years. James Allison knows that F1 history suggests that teams never really get back to their peak after slipping from their previous peak. But with the ambitious program in mind, Allison feels there is a lot of strength in their team’s depth. Moreover, he’s sure they’ve made quite a lot of progress. But Allison said the team would hope for the following year’s car to be sufficient. Whether it will be adequate or not, only time can say.
When Can Mercedes Catch Up To Red Bull?
In 2021, Red Bull came pretty close to ousting the Brackley team. Nevertheless, the Driver’s World Champion belonged to one of their own in 2021. It was Max Verstappen who broke the streak of Lewis Hamilton despite Mercedes claiming their 8th title in a row. However, it was sort of symbolic because after the Dutch driver claimed his maiden title, he never looked back. From 2022, Max Verstappen has won 34 races in two years. It has been an unbelievable domination for an F1 driver.
But the credit goes to Adrian Newey for designing the fastest car and Honda for providing their precious engine. On the other hand, Mercedes could neither build a fast car nor their engine helped them in any way. Recently, Toto Wolff mentioned that he has no intention to wait till 2026 to catch Red Bull. The Mercedes boss told the media, including RacingNews365, that the focus must be on doing a far better job in the next two years.