UNITED KINGDOM: Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff’s recent comments about Mercedes’ F1 car concept have caused a stir in the F1 community, with one expert likening the situation to a “civil war.”
Hamilton and Wolff comment on Mercedes F1 car concept
After a disappointing season in 2022, Mercedes was hopeful of returning to race-winning form in 2023.
However, Hamilton and his teammate George Russell were well off the pace at the recent Bahrain Grand Prix, prompting Wolff to admit that the team had begun the season with the wrong concept.
Hamilton claimed that the technical team had ignored his inputs to help Mercedes find a solution for its issues.
According to F1 technical expert Craig Scarborough, Mercedes now faces a critical choice. Scarborough believes that F1’s budget cap and the weighted aerodynamic research initiative could further compromise Mercedes’ development.
With the restricted development time afforded to teams who finished higher in the previous year’s Constructors’ standings, Mercedes may struggle to make significant changes to their car.
The team already has a development programme running, with the team set to introduce a new floor at the next race, but this may not be enough to get the team back on track.
Hamilton and Wolff are calling for a completely new concept for the car, which will be a big piece of work.
However, Scarborough believes that if Mercedes puts in a massive effort this year, it could pay off in 2024, as the teams expect the regulations to be the same.
Mercedes introduced a low-drag rear wing in Bahrain to combat concerns over straight-line speed deficit to the front runners, but Scarborough claims the updates didn’t make a discernible difference to the team’s performance during the weekend.
He added that Mercedes is used to getting aerodynamic performance from the underfloor, one of the car’s critical elements. He further elaborates that Mercedes needs to change the car’s suspension because that’s where its issues lie.
Mercedes will hope to bounce back from their disappointing start to the season, but it remains to be seen whether the team can make the necessary changes to their car to compete at the front of the pack.
As the season progresses, all eyes will be on Mercedes to see how they respond to the current situation.
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