Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2023

Hamilton: Red Bull “so far away” they’ll remain ahead “for the next couple of years”

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton has little hope of catching Red Bull in the near future after Mercedes’ poor Brazilian Grand Prix performance.

Mercedes were encouraged by the introduction of a new floor design for the United States Grand Prix, at the beginning of three consecutive events which concluded last weekend. Hamilton finished second on the road in Austin, then was disqualified, but secured a second place finish in Mexico.

The team suffered a terrible weekend in Brazil, however. Both drivers suffered with tyre degradation and Hamilton could only finish seventh in the sprint race. That was one place better than he managed in the grand prix on Sunday.

“I knew that we would have a difficult day,” Hamilton told media after yesterday’s race. “Nothing changed in the car from yesterday to today so I knew it would be a tough one.

“Yesterday I just ate through the tyres with an unexpected lack of pace. I think I drove better today in terms of at least making my stints, but we were just slow.”

“The tyres were always overheating for us,” he added. “The tyres were overheating, slow on the straights, no grip in the corners.”

Before the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend Mercedes said they were encouraged by the effect their new floor had on the car. Hamilton admitted the situation now looks less positive, but hopes the team’s investigation into its performance will reveal areas where it went wrong.

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“Ultimately, in the moment, it is a step back,” he said. “But as a team we’ll just come together and we’ll try and push forward.

“There’ll be a lot of analysis this week after today. I’m sure there’ll be things that will be like ‘ah, maybe if we had done this, it would have been better’. But I think still, ultimately, the car didn’t work here for some reason and that is the way it is.”

Following one of his pit stops in yesterday’s race Hamilton reported it felt as if a wheel was not aligned correctly. He said this turned out not to be a problem.

“It’s super-strange,” he said. “I wondered if the tyre maybe hadn’t been done up or something but the car started turning right whilst I was going left.”

The problem appeared to resolve itself. “It was fine in the end,” said Hamilton. “I think it must’ve been just wind or something, a gust of wind.”

He is unsure whether to expect his car will perform better in the next race at the new Las Vegas Strip Circuit. “I don’t expect it,” he said. “But it could be. You never know with this car.”

But after finishing over a minute behind race winner Max Verstappen, Hamilton admitted it’s becoming hard to believe Mercedes will have an answer for Red Bull in the near future.

“Ultimately all I can do is try to remain optimistic,” he said. “The Red Bull, I think, is so far away I think they’re probably going to be very clear for the next couple of years.”

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73 comments on “Hamilton: Red Bull “so far away” they’ll remain ahead “for the next couple of years””

  1. Too soon for definitive conclusions.

    1. Especially since only two weeks ago he had 100% faith in them closing the gap for next season.

      We’ve seen significant performance jumps of various teams at the start of, and during, this season. One day a team will make jump big enough to challenge the Red Bull (in the hands of Verstappen).

      1. Billy Rae Flop
        6th November 2023, 13:53

        Overly wishful thinking if you ask me. One day sounds like a fable. Mercedes were never challenged untill rules were changed twice.

        Also to add to my comment bellow.. redbull like Merc in the past has such an advanced that they are able to give more to the next season’s than others realistically can.

    2. Billy Rae Flop
      6th November 2023, 13:51

      Perhaps on an absolute basis yes but not really looking at the reality of F1 competition

      Even just look at the previous era. Several changes over the years and some to especially slow Merc down or reduce their advantage, and yet they won 15 out of 16 titles. Essentially 16.
      Now couple that with the fact that this was during open spending no cost cap and they still couldn’t be caught. It’s much harder now especially with the massive advantage that redbull have. An advantage that mercedes perhaps only had in 2020 and 2014.
      The wind tunnel restrictions haven’t shown to really change much.

      Also best in mind the current rules are very stable and with no changes expected.

      Sure it’s possible for others to close in but to do so, and do so significantly let alone competitively, looks to be very unlikely indeed.

    3. I disagree. I can see their win share being reduce before the new, even worse (if that’s possible) 2026 cars, but I doubt by much. Just like there was no reason to believe Mercedes would be caught after 2014, unless RBR had got an engine from another manufacturer.

  2. f1statsfan (@)
    6th November 2023, 7:39

    Well the only reason Red Bull is “so far” ahead as you put it is because the competition is failing the sport in being competitive.

    We are nearly at the end of the 2nd season of new regulations (=3 years development) and where are Ferrari and Mercedes with improving their car and operations to challenge Red Bull. Given the massive infrastructures, budgets and experience both these teams have as well as being engine manufacturers for a very long time the output is very disappointing for F1 fans.

    Despite 2022 being called a nightmare season with bad concept and the drama show around purposing Mercedes in terms of results did better in 2022 than now in 2023 despite 3 more sprint weekends.
    * 2022 after 20 races 447 points, 15 podiums and scoring 36 times – last 2 races 1 win, 2 podiums and 54 points.
    * 2023 after 20 races 375 points, 7 podiums and scoring 34 times.

    But maybe I am too harsh on Mercedes as Ferrari is doing even worse compared to 2022 but then again Ferrari kind of have been lost for last 10 years with only on occasion finding their way only to be lost shortly after.
    * 2022 after 20 races 487 points, 4 wins, 18 podiums and scoring 31 times – last 2 races 2 podiums and 57 points.
    * 2023 after 20 races 353 points, 1 win, 7 podiums and scoring 32 times.

    The lost points and podiums have gone to McLaren & Aston Martin so instead of gaining on Red Bull both Mercedes and Ferrari lost ground to McLaren and Aston Martin.
    * 2022 podiums after 20 races: Red Bull 26, Ferrari 18, Mercedes 15 and McLaren 1
    * 2023 podiums after 20 races: Red Bull 27, McLaren 9, Aston Martin 8, Ferrari/Mercedes each 7 and Alpine 2

    1. Nice stats. The numbers clearly tell the story.

    2. the competition is failing the sport in being competitive.

      Yes, but also we’ve seen exactly the kind of convergence that was hoped for when F1 made these regulations. Except Red Bull. There is ‘something’ about that car that is off. Not illegal (until proven otherwise), but the way its suspension preserves performance in the tyres is unlike any other team. So while qualifying is often quite close, the races are a complete walkover.

      1. I assume they are running some type of DAS like Mercedes was using a few years ago. DAS wasn’t against the rules but was banned mid-season. A few years before that, Ferrari was running some type of fuel pump that was also banned although no one ever knew how it worked. Kudos to Red Bull engineering for coming up with a dominant car.

        1. Maybe, but if it was one thing I suspect the other teams would have picked up on it already, it’s probably a case of finding the ‘right’ solution to a lot of moving parts where the balance they’ve found works well with these current Pirelli tyres.

          It’s the main problem with F1’s struggle to define itself in an era of spec-series and BoP-classes. They desperately want to maintain the tradition of being an open championship, but because F1 tech is largely irrelevant to the outside world, aero-based advances are generally bad for the spectacle, and costs need to be kept under control, the rules have become so restrictive – and indeed prescriptive in many cases – that the number of avenues teams have to find performance has become smaller and smaller.

          Back in the day two teams might have been quite close, but found their performance elsewhere. Now it seems that if you can’t keep the Pirelli tyres working well… you’re done.

        2. It’s interesting that both of the quick cars, R.B. and McLaren, are running pull-rod front suspensions.

        3. A few years before that, Ferrari was running some type of fuel pump that was also banned although no one ever knew how it worked.

          Which item were you referring to?
          The Ferrari second fuel feed, which meant that the FIA were only monitoring part of the fuel flow?
          Or the fuel feed feature that generated interference at critical moments so that the FIA couldn’t get a proper average flow and could continue accelerating after the peak/average flow limit was reached, and competing cars lost a little in the acceleration down the straights?

          There are some quite ingenious items in the Ferrari past. I’ve long thought that if they put that ingenuity into legal development, they’d have a championship winning car.

      2. It’s Newey. Versus his current competitors, it’s like Max or Alonso racing against an F2 midfielder. Newey doesn’t just do the aero. He designs almost every aspect of the car. Most importantly beyond the aero, the suspension, which is critical to making his aero concept work all the time and with a wide window. It’s just a cause of a once in a generation genius operating against really great engineers. Just not visionaries.

        1. Let me add, that besides the Brawn run with Ferrari and designing the Mercedes which was paired with a huge engine advantage, every single other title went to cars designed by him besides during the years he was getting RBR turned from a back marker into a world beater. And his chassis was still better than the Mercedes during their dominance. It just had an utterly massive engine disadvantage. An advantage that allowed Mercedes to just crank on aero if it needed. It’s no coincidence that as soon as they went to the less anemic Honda engine they immediately began winning.

      3. They are probably running a form of traction control, the same used in bike racing used to drag the rear of a bike/car around a corner, to keep the weight more biased to the rear of the car while cornering. Especially in to the apex. If you look at Alpha Tauri, and Red Bull’s performance in the last sequence of turns in Brazil, it’s clear their down force on the rear end is significantly better, and more than likely due to the ‘engine breaking’ that is induced by the ‘popping’ under breaking in to the corner which Honda has been doing for ages. Although I have to admit their Formula Nippon motor in the HSV was a little bit more of a warble than nasty popping and grinding. If the Honda is still popping and killing it’s fuel inputs in to the corner, They are RUNNING TRACTION CONTROL, even if it’s not in the more traditional sense of killing ignition on slip detection, more like how ABS works.

        The problem with F1 is there is too much going on under the table and behind closed doors, to keep sponsors and money coming in, and this is far more important than rules, but does affect who is getting called out for rules violations. For instance if you look at USGP, Lewis was calling Verstappen for track limits consistently, but nobody said anything about it, Lewis did get inspected after the race however and had his position thrown out. I personally think Red Bull have too much influence over F1, and their enforcement of the rules. And I suspect that has to do with many threats Red Bull corporate make, just like Honda in MotoGP or Ferrari back in the day.

        1. You have a lot of opinions I like, but this theory is crazy. The performance of the RBR is no different than the many cars Newey has produced that competitors couldn’t touch. The Williams, Hakkinen’s McLaren, Kimi’s McLaren (wasn’t untouchable, but was fastest for a while, its weak engine was always breaking), Vettel’s RBR and now Max’s RBR. Consistent performance.

    3. Basically RedBull can guarantee their wins with their money. F1 needed a change, so they let them…

      1. Pretty much. The definition for traction control is – the FIA’s rule on traction control for F1 from 2021: “No car may be equipped with a system or device which is capable of preventing the driven wheels from spinning under power or of compensating for excessive torque demand by the driver. Any device or system which notifies the driver of the onset of wheel spin.

        This definition is does not cover techniques or technologies used by the drive train to control the bias of the suspension and aid in traction. This is probably worth 8/10’s of a second of a lap, over a race I would imagine. At least. After listening to the last few years of Red Bull exhaust mic clips, its clear they are cutting the ignition/modulating the back pressure, output power -> engine breaking to achieve superior performance into the corners, and across the apex. This technique is used all throughout motor racing and bike racing, its very common, but F1’s definition is too closed, and too narrow to capture traction control aids of many sorts. Mercedes must deny RBR’s use of this technique to bias their suspension, and in doing so, will be able to compete fairly w/ that Honda motor which has had more than enough time in development.

    4. Well-written, though I disagree on the 3-year development aspect. With frozen PUs and a budget cap, missteps, as seen with Mercedes in 2022 and Ferrari in 2023, mean waiting for another season to resolve issues. Meanwhile, RBR are refining their concept unbated.

    5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      6th November 2023, 12:33

      I think Verstappen was just messing with Norris yesterday letting him get close to him at one point.

    6. To me, what this data demonstrates is that Red Bull still have a hugely dominant car, just as they did in 2022, but the others are now generally much closer to each other, and thus are sharing the rest of the points out more evenly. The margins are very tight, so with Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston all being so inconsistent, and the time gaps usually pretty close between them, it just allows Red Bull (or more specifically Max in the Red Bull!) to romp away with the points.

    7. Well, one could argue that:

      > Given the massive infrastructures, budgets and experience both these teams have

      They have to stay within a budget cap.

      > well as being engine manufacturers for a very long time the output is very disappointing for F1 fans

      The development of engines is really restricted.

      So, it is perfectly logic to me that if the sport freezes everything they can, standardize everything they can hoping to level the field, if someone comes up with solutions better than their competitor it is very hard (at least, harder than in the past) for them to catch up.

      What F1 is missing at the moment is an evolution subsequent to the introduction of the budget cap. They have in place both the previous approach solutions that slowed developments to contain costs in the pre-cap era AND the budget cap. In my opinion, the cap should serve as a “catch all” solution and the development should be widely opened now. Teams would choose where to put their non-infinite money and the so wanted levelling of the sport should occur naturally. In my very personal vision, the opening should occur in many aspect, from the abolition of parc-fermé to less restrictions in the PU area, to return to an era of ingenuity and give a deeper meaning to being the “pinnacle of motorsport”.

      1. Teams would choose where to put their non-infinite money and the so wanted levelling of the sport should occur naturally.

        But that’s not how it works. Taking away the current technical limitations invariably leads straight to increased field spread. Those restrictions/prescriptions remain under the cap so as to ensure teams have fewer ways to get their cars right or wrong, relative to each other – performance-wise.

        While the theoretical possibilities would return allowing teams to create their pace in different ways, the reality is that the sheer amount of data they all have access to now still limits the practical options to the one that works best – which the big teams always figure out sooner than the little ones anyway, and typically have more/better resources to exploit.
        The overload of data is harming F1 – not the lack of technical variety per se. That lack of diversity is a direct result of that increase in data, in fact.

  3. Yeah, they probably will.
    But it’s nothing new in modern F1 – Hamilton’s team were in that exact position themselves only a few years ago.
    8 consecutive World Constructor’s Championships, wasn’t it…?

  4. Is this really true? I think I saw a McLaren, this if I’m not mistaken, uses a Mercedes powertrain and gearbox, finish a couple of seconds behind the Red Bull.

    Given their starting position in the season, perhaps it’s a good idea to have a look at why Mercedes was not capable of making similar strides.

    1. Given their starting position in the season, perhaps it’s a good idea to have a look at why Mercedes was not capable of making similar strides.

      I think that is clear: they started off with the wrong concept, they tried to make it work for this year as well but had to admit basically when the season started that the zeropod was an abject failure, and they have been experimenting since. They’ve added sidepods, they’ve developed an experimental floor that is meant to give them ideas for next year but ultimately they’re running some sort of hybrid car that underneath is still the flawed original concept.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      6th November 2023, 12:34

      I think Max was controlling his pace and just strolling to P1. I would not be one bit surprised if he had the pace to lap Lando.

      1. Pretty much this.

  5. Very likely. The new regulations bunched up the group from the second to last, but unfortunately the RB-MV duo looks unbeatable. McLaren is not far behind, but gaining those last 2-3 tens is very very hard.

  6. Mercedes never got it right in two years, Ferrari started this regs strong but lost it all since Spa last year.

    Aston Martin and McLaren have been doing good in being the best of the rest but not even close to challenge Red Bull.

    So yes. Nobody have the slightest clue in how to close this gap. Might very well take another 2 or 3 seasons.

  7. That’s the spirit!

  8. Or, if he’s really unlucky, it could be the next 5 years like it was for him.

    1. Or worse. It could be 16 years without the best car in the field like Alonso.

      16 years with a car that shouldn’t be close to a title. And the two titles he lost due to bad luck that had nothing to do with him and by a razor’s margin in 2010 and 2012 were in a car his teammate was finishing near the bottom of the top 10 in the WDC.

      Can you imagine the outcry from the British dominated F1 media if Hamilton had been in that situation or now by the media if Max went even just 3 seasons in a dog?

      1. Alonso has made his career choices. He’s an amazing driver, but he does seem to have a habit of creating toxic working environments. Such that no one with a winning car design seems to want him in their team.
        It should be remembered that both of his championships were won driving for Flavio Briatore. A man well known for his ethics.

        1. Biggest myth ever. Probably why he’s driven for nearly every team on the grid. They said he’d never drive for McLaren again. He did. They said he’d never drive for Renault again. He did. They said Honda would never deal with him again. They are. Mercedes and RBR only aren’t going to sign him because you “never put two extreme alphas in the same team” as Horner said. Marko is always waxing lyrical about him and want him.

          The entire toxic myth comes from his McLaren / Hamilton saga (they resigned him) and him complaining about Honda engines vocally (Max and Lewis would have done the same and Honda are working with him again). Also, bad career choices is kind of BS. That’s down to mostly luck and seat availability and there were two great seats with Max and Lewis in those teams.

          1. Fernando is a superb, once-in-a-generation driver – of that I have no doubt.

            The trouble is, he’s also a toxic clown that burns bridges.

          2. @joshgeake

            A single piece of evidence? You sound really objective.

          3. It wasn’t just those two examples. It was also “my team don’t want me to win” at Renault, or the “idiots” thing at Ferrari.
            Also, he did make bad career choices. He could have been at Red Bull instead of Vettel. He opted not to do that.
            The 2010 and 2012 Ferrari’s weren’t nearly as bad as being described. They weren’t as outright fast as the Red Bull, but they were fast starters and bulletproof. And he did make one high-profile error in 2012 in Japan.

  9. If that’s his optimism, what does his pessimism sound like?

    1. Hamilton, for all his world-class skill and experience, doesn’t talk optimism or pessimism. All he knows is how to be an attention-seeking drama queen.

  10. It’s not just that Mercedes car is “bad” (it’s not bad, it’s just not the best one, so one could argue it’s a pretty good car). What they manage to extract from it weekend after weekend is their weaker link. I won’t pretend I’m an expert, but my impression is that Mercedes cars always require extra fine tuning relative to most of their competition. So the peak is there (and at its peak it’s the second best car throughout the season), but they rarely reach it; unlike RB and McLaren to some extent.
    They are the ones that need more practise time than others, and always talk about “understanding” the car, “extracting performance” etc. To me, they look like a team that often hunts in the dark, with their eyes covered.
    Hamilton now talks about next two years, but they did say that they are bringing a different car next year (not revolutionary, but a concept that should be an improvement). I think that if they don’t make a bigger step next year, that just means that Mercedes is not as good a team as it was in the past and that they aren’t under performing anymore, just performing at their new level. These are not the same people that have won championships, many have left, and there are many new faces. Maybe their only advantage now is that they are a true factory team (but engine development is on freeze anyway). McLaren seems like a better, fresher organization at the moment to be honest; I expect more from them. They make mistakes, but at least they know what they want and how to get there eventually.
    And Lando seems like a better driver than Russel as well, at least at the moment; so their future is possibly brighter.

    1. There’s a few things at play here in terms of setting up a car.

      I don’t think Mercedes have yet managed to optimise the car in a single session and have built their race craft and set up to suit having three practice sessions to fine tune what seems to be an incredibly narrow setup window.

      It doesn’t seem like a coincidence to me that their worst weekends by far have been sprint abomination weekends.

    2. I’m starting to think the Mercedes period of domination was more about the engine (& Party mode) than about the car design. It shows that Aston Martin and McLaren appear quicker (less tire deg) with the same engine.

      1. This. If you are 2s quicker thanks to your engine, it doesn’t matter if your aero is .5 off.

        Now that that advantage has gone, Merc is struggling. You see the same with their pit stops, which never needed to be top notch because hey what is .3 across a while race if you can make up 1s a lap by pressing a button.

        1. yes, and that is also how they tried to come back in 2021. Kept replacing engines at higher rate and running them at the limit, like probably no other team could, pushing the reliability.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          6th November 2023, 14:14

          You see the same with their pit stops

          What is the average delta in pitstops between Red Bull and Mercedes?

          1. .4s on average for all races up to the summer break.

        3. Correct. And their driver was also 0.3 off than the current RedBull driver. This was also not visible because of dominant engine.

      2. It’s a balance, and part of the art is in finding the right one, which is why it’s less impressive that Red Bull is winning now that the engines have been taken out of the equation (in motorsport!). It’s still a good job, it’s just not as compelling.

        And Mercedes still built great cars; they had a clear advantage over their rivals with the same Mercedes engine. And if anything, that grew over the years (Williams of all teams could, at times, get quite close in 2014 and 2015).

        1. notagrumpyfan
          7th November 2023, 7:03

          in motorsport!

          Not that they play with different balls in football, or on a different kind of ice in icehockey, or on different tracks in track and field.

  11. There’s a lack of consistency by Mercedes and Ferrari from one weekend to the next. Honestly, after the summer break, Ferrari looked really on it in Monza and Singapore, and were looking at becoming regular podium contenders, then they had lacklustre weekends in japan, qatar and brazil. Mercedes did great in COTA and Mexico and then failed miserably at Brazil.

    Mercedes doesn’t have a strong baseline to build on, with their zero pod concept scrapped before mid season. Ferrari had a good baseline, but couldn’t develop it well enough to perform consistently.

    Even if Mercedes and Ferrari get their car concepts sorted for next season, there’s no way they can beat Red Bull, who had their car concept sorted from the 1st race of the 2022 season. 2026 will be the next season where we can (hopefully) get a proper fight between 2 or more teams.

  12. Does Lewis have a crystal ball?

    1. Tommy Scragend
      6th November 2023, 11:26

      Quite possibly. We know he how much likes his jewellery.

  13. He keeps changing his opinion that its not even worth taking into account these days.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      6th November 2023, 12:37

      @illusive well, he has every right to – the car goes from decent to mid-pack overnight…

    2. Only a fool would take his (or almost any driver’s) engineering predictions seriously. I laugh every time I hear Mercedes predicting or anyone predicting they’ll be competitive for 2026.

      1. before*

  14. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    6th November 2023, 12:41

    It did seem like Max was holding back during the race. He built a huge gap in the sprint but then realized there was no point to doing that so just stayed ahead of Lando.

    On the other hand, the Mercedes’ pace was very deflating – it was impossible for them not to start falling backwards and as Brundle said, the overtakes from midpack cars looked like a different category. It was way too easy to even attempt to mount a defense.

    It’s very close to next season so they have every right to be worried.

  15. Thinking Hamilton is frustrated because the team is not improving each week. They were disqualified for illegal setup in the only race they were competitive in.

    1. They were disqualified for too much plank wear. The setup itself was perfectly legal.

      1. If the set-up was legal, then the plank would not have worn the way it did. The car was running lower than it needed to be, the plank wear proved it

  16. Before the new regs came in I predicted that at least one team would get it right and others wouldn’t and went on to say that with budget caps in place it would take longer for others to catch up because they can no longer spend their way to major performance improvements like they could in the pre cap era.

    None of the way things are now should be any surprise. The only thing that did surprise me pleasantly was the fact that one team (Mclaren) has in fact managed what I thought would be impossible this season by going from absolutely awful to being able to compete with the other major players behind Red Bull.

    Will next season be any different – probably not. Again that shouldn’t really surprise anyone as it’s been that way for decades.

    1. None of the way things are now should be any surprise.

      Maybe not, but given how close the field is from Mercedes, Ferrari, Aston Martin, McLaren and at times Alpine – with Williams and Not-Red-Bull sometimes hanging on, it seems that most teams have developed down the route that the drafters of these regulations expected (and presumably intended).

      The only teams that are not in the game are cash-strapped Sauber and the formerly-Russian team who outsource anything they can and are in F1 for reasons known only to themselves. The 2022 regulations have actually been quite successful in bringing both costs down and the teams closer together.

      Red Bull has evidently found ‘something’, but it’s not one obvious thing, nor is it that they’ve supposedly spend two years refining a good concept (as some suggest). The Red Bull was the best car straight out of the box in early 2022, but was (briefly) held back by some unfortunate third party failures that led to retirements, and being slightly overweight.

      1. Ferrari actually looked better early 2022, verstappen had mechanical failures in the 1st and 3rd place, but where was he when he retired? 2nd and he had already settled for that, not having been able to catch leclerc.

      2. 1st and 3rd race*

  17. Robert Henning
    6th November 2023, 17:16

    McLaren is going to challenge them next year and the buddies aren’t going to remain buddies.

    I doubt anyone saw McLarens rise coming. They’re still 4th on the WCC. With far more wind tunnel time and capable drivers they will I believe compete for the WCC and WDC. Norris’ time to show what he’s made of soon.

    Mercedes might afterall fire Allison if the car isn’t there next year. Hamilton called out people for questioning the true performance of the car at Austin after it ran significantly lower than usual. Mexico was a Lando disaster which handed Hamilton a P2. At Brazil Merc looked finished.

    One has to ask at this point if their floor is actually good.

    I don’t have much hope for Mercedes.

    Ferrari will Ferrari themselves out of contention so there’s that.

    1. Yes, If not 2024, 2025, I’d put money on it. More aero time, their own wind tunnel, and new engineer signings from Red Bull, it will be surprising if they don’t close the gap even further.

  18. He’s talking nonsense. It’s been shown that any team is one major car update away from being on a different level in terms of their competitiveness. McLaren is the prime example.

  19. Mercedes had a dominant car for years (mainly because of their engine which they developed years earlier then the rest) Engine power is equalized between the teams now. So you’ll have to make a difference in aero. Something Mercedes lacks in the new rules. I don’t think Mercedes is going to win a title anytime soon.

    1. Yup. RBR would have taken titles off them had they had a half-decent engine. Mercedes could crank on downforce whenever they needed it. It’s why early in their dominant run, Williams with only Bottas and Massa in the car, were at times their closest competitor. Cause they had that engine. They certainly didn’t have top level aero. Mercedes had a B+ car designed by Brawn paired with an A++ engine. RBR seemed to have an A chassis with a C engine.

      1. Totally agree!

  20. Mclaren will catch Lew, not sure about Mercedes though haha

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