Mercedes Formula One team is in the midst of a forgettable season. With a mere two rounds left on the calendar, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are still winless, with struggles refusing to die down. After the Austin floor upgrade, the W14 did show signs of life. However, the disaster that unfolded in Brazil brought the team back to square one.
Mercedes drivers witnessed a highly challenging weekend in Interlagos. The W14 lacked pace throughout the weekend, with George Russell facing a DNF during the main race. On the other hand, Lewis Hamilton barely got himself some points by securing P8. The Silver Arrows’ recent results have left former F1 champion Damon Hill extremely worried about the team’s future.
Damon Hill Says Mercedes Is Missing A Trick By Running Different Aero Concept Than The Rest Of The Grid!
Mercedes F1 team dominated the sport of Formula One for a decade before regulation changes were enforced in 2021. Since then, the Silver Arrows faced a huge turmoil and tumbled down the grid. On the other hand, Red Bull Racing emerged as the biggest gainers and orchestrated a change of power. Even in 2023, while Red Bull is unstoppable, the Brackley-based team, for the first time in over a decade, might conclude a season without a single win. Having said that, the team is hopeful of a stronger comeback in 2024 as the engineers shift focus on the development of W15.
However, former F1 champion Damon Hill wonders if Mercedes is heading in the right direction with respect to machinery development. He says prior to the 2021 regulation change, the team remained heavily dependent on the performance generated from the power unit. After 2021, they changed that aerodynamics concept, which seemed way different from what other teams opted for. Even in 2023, the Toto Wolff-led team missed the trick and went on an unusual route. Hill feels that due to losing key aerodynamics engineers, the Silver Arrows cannot comprehend their future plan of action, which is worrisome. The F1 pundit also claimed that he is afraid of the Brackley-based team not heading in the right direction with regards to W15’s development.
Toto Wolff Confirms Hitting Breakthrough In Brazil GP’s Assessment!
Meanwhile, team principal Toto Wolff firmly believes his team is headed in the right direction. In a recent interview, Wolff stated that the Sau Paulo Grand Prix was by far the most difficult weekend of the season. Coming off strong results in Austin and Mexico, the team failed to feed on the momentum, which was disappointing. Having said that, ahead of the Las Vegas GP, Wolff says Mercedes succeeded in figuring out the setup miscues that contributed to Brazil’s disaster.
“We understand our mistakes and can explain our performance loss to the field,” Toto Wolff said. Further, the Mercedes boss reconfirmed the team’s intentions to defend P2 in the constructors championship even as competition from Ferrari rages on. Having said that, the Las Vegas GP will come with its own set of challenges. The temperatures have dropped massively, which might pose a daunting task for all teams, let alone the Silver Arrows, to get the setup right.