Mercedes’ uncompetitive start to season ‘feels like 2013’ for Wolff

2022 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by and

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says their uncompetitive start to the 2022 season reminds him of the last campaign in which they failed to win the world championship.

The reigning constructors champions qualified a full second off the pace at the last round in Jeddah, where Lewis Hamilton failed to make the cut for Q2. Speaking afterwards, Wolff said he was reminded of their last campaign before the V6 hybrid turbo era began, since when they have largely swept all before them.

“I love competition and I’ve always loved competition,” said Wolff. “We had a really strong run of eight years where we were leading the pack, not always, but we kind of managed our way into the lead.

“This time for me feels a little bit like 2013, where we just weren’t up to the speed with the Red Bull and probably also not with the Ferraris but we kept fighting. This is how I feel at the moment.”

Mercedes narrowly beat Ferrari to second place in the 2013 constructors championship, while Red Bull ran away with the title. Wolff said his team “need to fight” after their poor start to 2022.

“It’s certainly totally unacceptable where we are in performance,” he said. “We are third on the road and sometimes not even [that], like today. It’s just not an option to stay where we are.”

George Russell, who left Saudi Arabia fourth in the drivers’ championship, said the team’s focus on addressing the ‘porpoising’ it is suffering with its W13 chassis is preventing it from exploiting other areas it can improve in.

George Russell, Mercedes, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022
Russell was a second off the pace in qualifying in Jeddah
“It’s tricky because we’re putting all of our effort into solving this porpoising issue and it’s not allowing us to focus on other things,” he said. “As a driver it’s not allowing me to focus on the driving as much. The fine-tuning of the balance, the set-up, we can’t really do because all of our emphasis is on solving this issue. So we’ve got work to do.”

The car’s tendency to ‘bounce’ at high speeds is forcing Mercedes to compromise its set-up, Russell explained. “It’s exactly the same as we’ve seen since day one.

“We have the porpoising issue. The only way to run is to raise the car very high. And obviously with this ground effect car we lose all of the downforce.

“So we know that if we can get the car on the ground there is a huge chunk of lap time there. But we can’t achieve at the moment.

“It’s all well and good saying that, but we can’t physically achieve that right now. So we need to have a rethink.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 F1 season

Browse all 2022 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2022 F1 season articles

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 94 comments on “Mercedes’ uncompetitive start to season ‘feels like 2013’ for Wolff”

    1. At the risk of angering some folks in here, I can’t say I mind Mercedes having to eat some humble pie for a bit. Probably going to end up being a good thing for the team to experience some struggles for a bit.

      Besides, it’s just more fun to see some other teams at the top for once, have different personalities do battle and get the focus on TV, etc.

      1. @sjaakfoo, I’d mind less about Merc’s struggle if Hamilton didn’t get robbed of a record-breaking WDC #8.

        1. Nevertheless, I’ve already accepted the possibility he mightn’t get the record for most WDCs anymore, which would be perfectly fine since this is only a statistic anyway, rather something more important than life.

          1. At this rate it’s possible he might well experience his first winless season. I hope Mercedes can turn things around. A 3 team fight at the front would be great!

            1. And all those newbies to the sport will finally experience a season without a Michael Schumacher or Hamilton win.
              When I say newbies obvious I mean those who have been watching F1 for 30 years or less.

            2. I actually have a hard time seeing how hamilton won’t get a win this year, he got it in 2009.

          2. Isn’t it ironic that especially the Brits tend to be very intrigued by sports statistics and records?

        2. He was also gifted a few easy ones, so I wouldn’t feel too sorry for him

          1. The only example of a gifted championship in recent history would be Verstappen’s.

            1. Sure, he also had a car for years only his team mate could follow while the rest of the field was way down.

            2. Forgotten about the crashgate that robbed Felipe Massa and gifted the 2008 WDC?

            3. @melanos don’t forget that Massa was gifted Spa 2008 by the FIA, when HAM was unfairly robbed of the win.

              Cheating by another independent team, which was only revealed much later isn’t comparable to what happened in 2021

            4. hmm 2008 was a bit of courtesy of Crashgate. But will let that one slide because Hamilton was actually on the receiving end of injustice at Spa.
              2014, 2015 nobody could win other than in a Merc. 2016 was his to win but allowed Rosberg to win so many races and build a massive lead early in the year. 2017-2018 seemed like they would be proper battles, but never materialized. Both years were decided 3 and 4 races before the end of the year. 2020 was the the easiest of them all.

              So yeah… I don’t question Lewis’ abilities. He’s one of the greatest ever. But his stats massively overstate his greatness. Just like Schumacher’s. These guys are all in the same category as other drivers that didn’t win half as many championships. Enlarged stats like that required a lot of luck. Seb Vettel has more WDCs than Fernando Alonso, Jackie Stewart, Ayrton Senna and others.

            5. I don’t forget Spa 2008, not at all, and I was astonished at the decision.

              Of course the penalty was absolutely 100% deserved so no robbery at all

              But up to then, the little youknowwhat had got away with absolutely everything against the rules, why, even the Hockenheim crane. At that point I was thinking one day the little youknowwhat was going to machine gun the whole competition, win by default, and get away with it. But on Spa 2008 I learnt that ever for the little youknowwhat there were limits.

            6. +1 ajpennypacker

          2. @Mayrton
            Even if he got gifted, the difference is he didn’t need 3rd-party help via RD breaching standard procedures.

            1. So big was the advantage of their rocket!

            2. Noframingplease (@)
              6th April 2022, 17:18

              @jerejj you mean that the rulechanges in pitstop, rearwing weren’t necessary? 29 times crossing the tracklimit and penalizing the competitors of they do it one time and giving Lewis his lap back in imola doesn’t count. Oh no, sorry, for the Lewis fans it is only the last race that counts.

            3. No framing, it’s very strange cause as far as I remember jere should be neutral, so I find it strange that he ignores what happened in the rest of the season to defend hamilton.

        3. Really, another way to start again.
          Sigh..
          He never deserved anyway so its a good thing for his development and f1.

          1. the only non-deserving champ is the paperchamp verstappen, who got his title as present from the RD

            1. Please don’t leave off the required asterisks, like so: Verstappen**. Thank you.

            2. (**)
              World champion after defeating the 7 time wc holder in an intense battle.

            3. Ahah, paper champion, forgetting example 2020, are we?

        4. Well, we’re ok because he didn’t get robbed. He lost it in controversial circumstances, but there was nothing ambiguous about how he lost it on track. Also, it would have been another awful injustice for Lewis to win it after such a dreadful year. Max had been so much better. We could just say it was karma for Lewis odious behavior at Silverstone. For once, the F1 gods decided to make justice

          1. Absolutely, sometimes they make justice indeed, the engine failure for schumacher in 2006 was heartbreaking for me as a fan, but when you count the amount of points lost through mechanical failures\pit crew mistakes (hence not the driver’s fault) the engine failure and the puncture pretty much equalised the 2006 luck, if schumacher hadn’t had any of the 2 he would’ve won which would’ve been great for me, but then alonso would’ve been like verstappen in 2021: a driver who drove better and would’ve lost the title through bad luck.

          2. And goes without saying that abu dhabi was only partial justice, hamilton still is in debt of many points to luck that year.

        5. Noframingplease (@)
          6th April 2022, 11:17

          @jerejj luckily the 2021 was more than the last race. So we have all seen Lewis got by luck and some fine Fia decisions in point nearby Max

      2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        5th April 2022, 9:06

        It is and will be intriguing o see what MB accomplish this year.

        As for other teams it is really only Ferrari who have swapped places with MB in my opinion. In the past with Ferrari talking a good game and then not delivering it is a relief they are there else it would be an ORBR walkover. Then we would be back to 2010-13 with the same old team being the dominate one.

        1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          5th April 2022, 9:07

          [correction] It will be intriguing to see what MB accomplish this year.

          1. Being 3rd best team in the championship

      3. Why? Wouldn’t it be great to have a three pronged fight at the top?!

        1. Yes, but I rather see alfa or mclaren in that spot. Or even better a Haas.

      4. Tim (@tsgoodchild)
        5th April 2022, 11:32

        As a Lewis fan I personally hope for a turn on Mercedes’ fortunes in the second half of the season. I’m totally fine with him not being in title contention but it would make for a fascinating twist if in the last 8 or 9 races Mercedes had a fundamental impact on the outcome of the championship. #forzaferrari

        1. Nah, I’d rather see them humbled a bit. Then, based on how they respond to this, I may wish to see them uo there next season. I’ve never seen Hamilton look so depressed, and it’s the only two races he had a bad car in his whole career. Max, Charles, Checo and the rest of the guys spent most of their careers as some sort of underdogs. He had it easy, now he’s not impressive at all at the moment and I want to see Lewis does great things in a worse car (like Max so often did, or George in Williams). We can finally judge Lewis’ performance better, like we know M. Schumacher driving the best car, but also having second or third best car or worse for many seasons.

          1. Tim (@tsgoodchild)
            5th April 2022, 18:11

            If you need time to judge Lewis’ abilities I hope you get the answer you need this year. A driver entering his 16th season in F1 regardless of the statistical achievements he has, knows how to drive a car and I am confident of assessing his ability without seeing how 2022 plays out. I suggest you check out 2009 if you think he looks depressed currently.

          2. Agree, it’s very rare to see someone apart from me who wants to see what hamilton can do in a bad car like schumacher and alonso did whenever they had to, only thing to say is there were a few races early in 2009 where hamilton’s car was even worse than now.

        2. Coventry Climax
          5th April 2022, 13:12

          Fortune has nothing to do with it.
          The team that makes no mistakes overlooked a possible issue with their car for this year, simple as that. Some would call that a mistake. I know I would.
          And it’s very likely that their effort to catch up on Red Bull and Verstappen last year, is the reason for that mistake.

          1. Tim (@tsgoodchild)
            5th April 2022, 14:00

            Lol. I’ll be more literal in a reply next time. Replace “fortune” with “issues and that they find a solution”. Better?

      5. The problem it is their engine that is eating humble pie, they took the bio fuel hint the wrong way.

    2. It must be so tough for him after buying his way into Williams, and then Mercedes, standing on the shoulders of giants (Schumacher and Brawn) as he took over team and engine built to win championships. Such adversity, how will he cope?

      1. “I love competition and I’ve always loved competition,” said Wolff

        Well, he certainly didn’t make it look like that.

        1. No, he really loves it as long as they win.

          1. as long as it stays fair, and race results are not turned over by a cheating RD

            1. Verstappen would have likely passed Hamilton that final lap even with the lapped cars in between and it would have been epic. Unfortunately, the race wasn’t allowed to play out that way. With the cars removed Hamilton really had no chance and it was surprisingly anti-climactic to the experienced viewer (not that Liberty cares about us) to see it unfold. And we knew straight away the debate and/or law suits would continue for hours if not months, so the finish line didn’t even give us a definitive winner.

              You can argue what Race Direction did wasn’t fair play. And I agree. It wasn’t fair. Not for Hamilton, not for Max who was robbed of the chance to win the championship fair and square without everybody arguing over the way he got it, not for the other drivers in the midfield fighting over places in construction championship and also not fair for the fans. It was a terrible mistake, misguided by the pressure of laps running out, vocal team principles shouting in their ears and catering to supposed entertainment value.

              But what you can’t say is that Race Direction changed the result of the championship, because that’s exactly what they didn’t do. They realised they can’t undo the mistake and replay the race from that restart with the cars in between, and they stuck with what happened during the race.

            2. Very well put sihrtogg

            3. @sihrtogg The lapped cars part is a distraction. According to the rules, that race should have ended under the safety car. There is no ambiguity, no “who knows what difference it would have made”, no grey area. The extra lap required in the regulations means Lewis Hamilton should have won that race, and the _only_ reason he didn’t is that the Race Director broke the rules. That decision changed the winner of the race and the championship. That the FIA has allowed the result to stand signals that they are ok with the Race Director selecting the winner of a race, regardless of the regulations, which means F1 is no longer a sport.

              erikje will claim that Hamilton didn’t deserve even to be in contention, that Hamilton has never deserved any race or championship win, and that Mercedes only know how to lie and cheat. Everyone knows that’s not true – even though there are valid criticisms of the team and driver, and even people who are fans of other drivers and teams. As such, you should consider anything they say as either a lie or simply incorrect.

            4. @sihrtogg I doubt because if the five lapped drivers were still mixing up the order, he would’ve probably only caught Hamilton in the corner-rich S3, no sooner, which would’ve proved too little too late.
              @fluxsource Ending under SC wasn’t an absolute necessity as doing the final lap with all lapped drivers still in the mix was equally an option.

          2. (@fluxsource)
            The nice thing about having a critical view on Hamilton is that his fans invent all the text they can muster against.
            Fantasies and non realistic thoughts are common there :)
            Look at the things you “see me saying”
            You can probably fill in the reaction too.
            So, please go for it :)

      2. After watching Drive to Survive I get the feeling Horner shares that perspective.

    3. Wow, the old high noses look so strange now. Still look cool though.

      Also its nice to see Mercedes somewhere other than leading every race.

    4. He means we should expect a 1000 km private test with Pirelli? :D

      1. They learned how to keep it secret.

    5. Mercedes had plenty of pace in the first part of 2013, but they burned through their tyres too quickly which meant they were often uncompetitive over a race distance. A similar issue to the ones Red Bull faced until they successfully lobbied for the tyre compounds to be changed, allowing them to run away with the championship. Mercedes also benefited from the change which helped them to second overall.

      This year they just lack downforce as well as the doubts over the power unit. But it seems like they can unlock all of the car’s pace with One Neat Trick (solving the porpoising problem), so I doubt they will be behind for long.

      1. Let’s not forget the main reason for the changes in tyre construction in 2013 was that up to six different cars from five different teams (no Red Bull, funnily enough) had sudden tyre failures in Silverstone. With Pirelli blaming everyone but themselves, as usual.

        1. @warheart tyre failures that were traced to most of the teams violating Pirelli’s operating instructions for the tyres in order to extend their useful life during a racing stint (by installing them on the wrong sides of the cars & running them in reverse, which wore the rubber slower but ran the risk of causing belt failures), coupled with the usual tyre pressure shenanigans…

          https://joesaward.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/pirelli-explains-silverstone/

          But yeah, the lobbying got the rules changed, which Red Bull (literally) ran away with…

          1. @optimaximal that was Pirelli’s explanation, though. With Pirelli themselves admitting they never said anything against swapping left and right tyres (https://press.pirelli.com/pirelli-explanation-on-silverstone-facts-and-next-races/). Camber limits were already in place since Belgium 2011, and we had already seen several delaminations in 2013. Guess where they were debuting their new bonding mechanism to fix those delaminations? Yes, in Silverstone.

            And last, but not least, two teams ran secret tests with Pirelli, at Pirelli’s behest, during 2013: Ferrari (with a 2011 car driven by Pedro de la Rosa) and Mercedes (with their 2013 car and drivers). So I still find it quite odd that the only thing people seem to remember is Red Bull’s lobbying.

          2. @optimaximal A lot of the things teams were doing with the low pressures, swapping tyres & so on were all things that had been a normal part of F1 for many years & things which as @warheart says Pirelli were fully aware of.

            In the past the tire supplier would design/manufacturer tires understanding that teams were going to push the boundaries because F1 used to be all about maximising performance & gaining any advantage. I remember somebody posted something here at the time detaining how Bridegstone had safety margins build into the tires that allowed them to be pushed beyond specified limits & that Michelin & Good Year also did that but that Pirelli weren’t doing the same.

            The Pirelli era is the only time in F1’s history where the sport has had to introduce regulations to cover up the repeated deficiencies & failures of it’s tire supplier.

            In past the tire supplier would design tires that suited the sport while now the sport has to bow down to the needs of it’s sub-standard tire supplier.

            1. In past the tire supplier would design tires that suited the sport while now the sport has to bow down to the needs of it’s sub-standard tire supplier

              If the ‘sport’ collectively felt that Pirelli are substandard, Pirelli would be gone @roger-ayles.
              If all the teams, or even the majority of the big ones, agreed they didn’t want them – F1 would have no choice but to find a replacement for the next contract term.
              Don’t underestimate how much power the teams have now. Especially certain teams.

              The problem F1 has (largely through their own creation of course) is that no tyre supplier wants to take Pirelli’s position. The industry all know what’s being demanded of Pirelli, and want no part of it – at least not until there are major widespread changes.

              Sorry, feel free to continue with your anti-Pirelli rant.

            2. IfImnotverymuchmistaken
              5th April 2022, 15:52

              Really, it seems people forget or do not understand Pirelli were asked to make tires with very specific properties. It would be very easy for them to make tires that last the entire race, but that’s not what the FIA tender asked for.

      2. @red-andy,
        Indeed, Mercedes was fastest car in the first part of the 2013 season. Though it was a tyre eater. They gave up developing it earlier that season to shift all their resources to the 2014 project, while RBR continued to push the development of the RB9 to the last race of the season.

      3. Let’s see how much headway have RBR and Fezza by then, and if their close competition finally benefits Merc (oh no)

    6. And no Max Verstappen to save them. While Max delivered results that his car deserved or even better in 95% of races last 2 years, Sir Lewis “If you think what you saw at the end of the last year was my best, wait till you see this year” Hamilton not only absolutely embarrassed himself in Round 2 in qualifying, but also during the race he ignored the team and missed the pitlane. Somehow lesser drivers like Magnussen and Hulkenberg managed to do what 7 times world champion, apparently the GOAT, wasn’t able to. Instead of 5th place, he scored measly 1 point for 10th. Even better, on post race team radio he either pretended he doesn’t know there’s a point for 10th place (with current scoring system in its 13th season LOL) or just put yet another sulking primadonna show. Mark my words, Mercedes this year will have as many problems with developing their car, as with trying to manage Hamilton making mistakes and losing to Russell.

      1. As much as I like it. Your a bit harsh.
        He has serious mental issues to stay motivated and driving in a badly developed brilliant designed car does not help.

        1. Who are you and what have you done to erikje? :-)

        2. It seems you have severe mental issues. How close r u to Lewis to say this, or is this just your biased nonsense, like always. Lol, so laughable, all this stupidity…

          1. Geez, take a deep breath.
            It was Lewis himself who stated this.
            “Bit silly you look now”.. But we recognise the blinded hamfan :)

          2. Noframingplease (@)
            6th April 2022, 17:26

            Living in a cave when it suits you, dear @roman?

          3. I personally don’t agree with the mental issues part, but calling anything stupidity is a bit strange for one who keeps saying paper champion 2021, one of the very few years the driver’s champion wasn’t also in the winning constructor!

      2. There was a car slowing and clearly in trouble at the pit lane entry at the time Hamilton was approaching so he concluded it wasn’t necessarily safe to enter the pit and went round. Can you blame him though after the flack he was given 2 years ago for entering the pits when they were closed. Also he wouldn’t have scored a 5th place, he’d have likely ended up where Magnusson finished at best, which was of course one place higher in ninth. Given you’re unhealthy obsession with Hamilton I think we’ll just dismiss your words.

        1. He was caught sleeping.. Demanding tracks are an increasing problem for Lewis.

          1. I predict (since Shakir 2020 really) that GR will be Merc’s #1 and we’ll hear the usual lame excuses

            1. I voted that russell would beat hamilton this year, but I wasn’t (still am not) 100% on it, just convinced russell is the real deal and that beating hamilton in the same car isn’t as hard as some people say, and in polls it seemed like 30% were convinced russell would win and 70% hamilton, so we’ll see later.

    7. Wasn’t the Mercedes on pole quite often in 2013, both with Rosberg and Hamilton? The car wasn’t slow, like now, it just couldn’t manage the Pirelli tyres over a full race distance. Until Pirelli changed the tyres to suit Mercedes and Red Bull, that is.

      1. Yeah, big surprise :/

    8. Mercedes have speed to find, and I’m sure they’ll find it. By the end of the season I reckon they’ll have development going in the right direction and it’ll put them in a better position for the subsequent seasons with these regulations.

      Whether they’ll be winning championships is another thing, but I’m sure they will be regular podium and win contenders.

      Lewis has both masses of experience and is an amazing racer (“God tier” in my opinion, and I put Max in that tier as well) plus Russell has been part of the Mercedes family for some time now and seems to speak very intelligently about handling and the technical aspects of driving, they are a pair of drivers who will push the development and provide valuable feedback.

      I’ll enjoy the Ferrari/Red Bull battle, this could be a fantastic season. And I look forward to seeing Lewis and George in the mix at some point too.

      1. RandomMallard
        5th April 2022, 14:38

        @geekzilla9000 Definitely agree with this. I think the Mercedes, from what I’ve seen so far, probably has the most development potential of the cars near the front of the grid, and I’m sure they’ll be working their socks off to fix their issues and realise that potential. I too hope we can see a 3-team, 6-driver battle at the front at some point this year.

        1. Yes, would be interesting, and meanwhile maybe we can finally see some good hamilton performance in a bad car, if they haven’t fixed the issues for next race already.

    9. 2013, W13… was amusing to see even the pit garages in Bahrain are numbered 11, 12, 12A, 14. Plenty of room for superstition in F1!

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        5th April 2022, 11:35

        I think my words at the time was clearly MB are not superstitious.

      2. Lol and don’t forget 2014 RB10 – ‘red bull are beaten’!

    10. the sky is always falling at Mercedes.

    11. “I love competition and I’ve always loved competition,” said Wolff.

      Great joke, your honour!

    12. This is what happens when the momentum created by Brawn starts fading, it’s easy when the whole team has been built for you, the relevant personell “poached” for you
      Look what happened to Paddy Lowe once he got really challenged

      1. So if it all turns around and they dominate again it’s down to Wolff is it this time? You don’t maintain 8 years of dominance through several rule changes aimed to dethrone you if you don’t run a tight well organized ship. Wolff may have inherited a solid team but the continued success is in a large part down to him and the team he’s put together there. It’s almost certain too, that the rise of other teams has been in poaching talent from Mercedes too over the last few years. Brawn certainly gave the team solid foundations to build from but ultimately the difficulty is keeping the team together and that was always going to prove difficult with each year of success.

        The weakness of Mercedes has always been there risk aversion, they always take the root of least risk in there decisions and as such the fix to there issues will likely be slow but methodical. I fully expect they will nail down the exact cause of their issues sooner rather than later and they’ll then make a decision over how much of their development time is made to save the year if it’s a flawed concept that’s hurt them.

        1. True about the weakness, not sure it’s a weakness but I’ve noticed that example in their strategies.

    13. Personally I’m enjoying seeing Mercedes set back for a change, and I’m quite surprised that from the get-go this season they haven’t complained that the drastic reg changes were meant specifically to ruin their dynasty, although I suppose even TW would have to admit drastic changes were needed to the cars, and he and the other teams were all in on the plan going back several years now. But you know, last year as soon as they saw how competitive RBR was, only then did they immediately pulled out the ‘the floor regs changes were meant to harm low rake cars’ stuff. So it still won’t surprise me if they pull that one out of their hat at some point, particularly if they don’t become competitive enough this season.

      From what I have read, and of course this doesn’t mean it is accurate but it sounds fair, Mercedes are too heavy (so are others), and they have a flexing chassis. Their next move is alleged to be a new and stiffer designed floor when they get back to Europe, and following that will be side pod and wing changes. Personally to me that doesn’t sound like if they just solve their porpoising issues that will be 99% of it. Sounds like they need a total rethink and then they can hope that the porpoising is gone or limited, and then they will have to relearn about the car.

      I’ll just echo what so many LH/Mercedes fans have had the luxury of saying for so long…it is up to them to compete and it is not Max or Charles fault that Mercedes have failed to produce a competitive car. Their failure is showing us how important the car is, and how lucky LH was to have domination for such a long time, and I predict such as that will never happen again starting with this wholly new chapter of cars and budgets. It’s fascinating that they had such a grasp in the previous chapter while RBR until last season, and Ferrari, couldn’t sustain season long battles, and yet now they are showing from one season to the next that they are obviously highly capable teams, and that even the mighty can fall.

      I will be interested to see how LH does with this, and GR, as it makes me think of when RBR had the reg changes change their run starting in 2014, and how dejected SV felt when he no longer had the car with which to defend his four titles. DR felt like he was in the best car he’d ever had, and to SV it felt like a dog. Wouldn’t at all be surprised if LH is feeling rather dejected and GR is feeling buoyed at having a better car than what he’s had, in spite of it’s issues, which is why GR is so far outperforming LH.

      Anyway, they do have a proven track record, so of course it would be folly to underestimate them, even if they can’t do much this year, which remains to be seen, but even if it’s for next year the potential is obviously there in them, just as we are seeing it in Ferrari and RBR.

      1. I’m quite surprised that from the get-go this season they haven’t complained that the drastic reg changes were meant specifically to ruin their dynasty,

        I believe it was intended to put a dent in the ambitions of the front-runners (note the plural)
        It didn’t work overly well as two of the prime suspects in the case are running neck and neck, the class act of the last 8 years are sort of sitting between the front and the best of the rest.
        I’m sure Ross would have been more than happy to see RBR/Ferrari/Mercedes all stuck mid-pack and Alfa/Hass heading the pack.
        There’s still over 20 races to run though, so Alfa / Hass have time to improve.

        1. True, as some of us expected, even with budget cap the “historic” (not that old history in this case) top teams prove there’s more than money in the performance.

    14. Slightly off topic, but it’s pretty impressive that either Michael or Lewis has won a race every year since 1992. Before we start arguing about politics, cars, careers etc. A driver winning a race is pretty special, but someone born in August 1992, will be 30 pretty soon. And every year they’ve been alive, either Michael or Lewis won a race. 30 years is a long time, it covers the first F1 race to proper ground effect for example.

      F1 and time are a strange places.

      1. Yes, I made a similar point earlier. If you have been watching F1 for 30 years or less you have never seen a season without a Michael Schumacher or Lewis Hamilton win.

      2. Yes, it’s pretty impressive, obviously they’re both drivers who kept in pretty good form even in the worst seasons, hamilton never really had a bad car, since the 2nd half 2009 mclaren was capable of winning, schumacher had a few worse cars with which he managed to win, like the 1992, 1993 benettons and the 1996 and 2005 ferrari, even though there was the indygate he had some pretty good races where he got close to winning that year against a much superior renault and mclaren, but unfortunately good form is not enough, the importance of the car can be seen with alonso, who also kept performing well but cars like the recent years’ mclaren honda had no chance at all.

    15. After 2013 I was happy to see Red Bull not winning, after 2021 I am happy to see Red Bull and Ferrari back in the front. Mercedes is a good team and the its not the same issue as RB or Ferrari face in 2014, its far more easier for them to make a comeback later,its a very long season.

    16. sort of. they used to get many pole positions in 2013

    Comments are closed.