Mercedes seems clueless ahead of the final race day in the Chinese Grand Prix. After every race, they say they have a better understanding of the car, but that’s not showing through in their performance. Lately, in China, Lewis Hamilton mentioned the W15 car was bad during the FP1 session. Moreover, Toto Wolff said Mercedes could lose its position if the Sprint in China is dry.

They have had trouble understanding the car since 2022. Clearly, the ground effect regulations have been a curse and not a blessing for the former champions. This Silver Arrows team used to dominate the grid back in the turbo-hybrid engines era. But ever since the cost cap era came into play in 2022, they have lost the grip on the title. They are nowhere near their arch-rivals Red Bull. Clearly, this cost cap era belongs to the Austrian outfit, like the turbo-hybrid era belonged to the German team. Mercedes has won a single race since 2022.


That was in the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix. Things are not looking great for the Brackley team this year, either. They might go on another winless season, like in 2023. It is because Toto Wolff’s team is still finding it hard to understand the car. 

How Mercedes Can Lose Position If The Sprint Is Dry?

Lewis Hamilton

On Saturday, Toto Wolff sounded more optimistic than he was after FP1. The big problem of a sprint weekend is that there is only one practice session for everybody. Hence, the teams have to make quick assessments of the track and their respective cars. On China’s pecking order, there is not much data available. Later, the Mercedes team principal told Sky Sports that they should have the pace in the dry. Moreover, Toto Wolff mentioned he does not think his team has got the pace against Red Bull. But Mercedes might just have the pace against McLaren. However, Wolff said, “Then, again, we don’t know, for sure.” The big problem for the Silver Arrows is that they have no data from the FP1 session.

 Hence, there is a good possibility that Lando Norris and McLaren can be a lot quicker than the Lewis Hamilton-George Russell duo in Shanghai. But Wolff added that it can go the other way around as well. Moreover, the Mercedes boss mentioned they have knowledge about the car’s generating grip. Adding to that, Wolff said, “It’s not an easy task.” Mercedes failed in SQ1, SQ2 and then got it right in Q3. But Toto Wolff said driving in the wet is the most important. Moreover, it shows the team’s tire preparation. Wolff believes they did the right thing on the final run. Moreover, the tires in the sweet spot combined with a great drive made the time for Mercedes. 

George Russell Talked About Bringing The Tire To The Right Temperature

George Russell Mercedes
George Russell Mercedes Source: Daily Express

The Silver Arrows struggled for pace in both SQ1 segment and in the SQ2 segment as well. SQ1 was pretty dry. But SQ2 had a late drizzle when George Russell faced elimination in 11th. In the post-race interview, the young Mercedes racer mentioned, “It was not easy at all.” 

Moreover, Russell mentioned in Q2 that the team tried to send it as early as they could. But then they got stuck. Russell believes 12 cars were ahead of Mercedes at that point. He just had to sit in the pit lane. Eventually, they lost tire temperature. Nevertheless, Russell is looking forward to the sprint race. He believes Mercedes can recover in the sprint.

Stay tuned to Sports News International for more such updates about your favorite F1 team.