“Lost a Year of Development”: Mercedes Outcast Serves Lewis Hamilton & Co. A Cruel Reality Check as Future Plans Tipped to Be Doomed

Published 07/17/2023, 6:00 AM EDT

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Red Bull already has a 200+ points advantage over Lewis Hamilton and Co. However, we’re not even halfway into the season. If Mercedes were able to bring upgrades that put them ahead of Red Bull, winning the title is still possible. However, the Silver Arrows’ plans are tipped to be doomed as Mercedes outcast served a reality check to his former team. What did the Mercedes Outcast say?

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Lewis Hamilton after the first race of the season, suggested that the Mercedes zeropod concept needs to go as he criticized the team for not listening to him earlier. The team did act on Hamilton’s criticism and introduced an upgraded car at Monaco. This car follows a different philosophy and will lead the team to a different direction of development. The results are much better and the drivers are happier with the car. 

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However, Mercedes are still a long way behind Red Bull, and catching them looks like a tedious task. The Williams TP, James Vowles, a former Mercedes employee, suggests that Mercedes are on the back foot as they lost over a year trying to figure out the zeropod concept which was eventually scrapped. With the new philosophy, the team will eventually come back to the top, but it will take time. 

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According to Marca.com, James Vowles said, “I think Mercedes lost a year of development while I was there, simply because the direction they went in was so different from the rest of the field. They will come back to the forefront, but I think it will take another six to 12 months for them to be able to do that.”

So half a year or a year before Mercedes finally gets on the Red Bull level. That means either the start or midway of the 2024 season. So what about the current F1 season? Well, Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Mercedes are very closely matched with McLaren joining the party as well. Finishing 2nd in constructors will be the minimum goal from here. However, Hamilton did suggest that Mercedes needs to start working on next year’s car or Red Bull will stamp a lead once again.

Lewis Hamilton wants Mercedes to start the development of the 2024 car.

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Lewis Hamilton recently advised that FIA and F1 shouldn’t allow teams to start working on next year’s car before a specific date. He suggested that this will prevent the dominating team from gaining an advantage for the next year. As Red Bull has already started the development of the 2024 car, Hamilton urged his team to do the same as well. 

via Reuters

According to Motorsport.com, Lewis Hamilton said, “It’s going to be a battle of development over the rest of the season. I reckon Max’s team is already working on next year’s car, so we need to take our eye a little bit off the ball and focus on next year also but happy to be up there.”

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Written by:

Pranay Bhagi

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Pranay Bhagi is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports, who has always been passionate about sports and writing. With a degree from a prestigious institute, he has channeled his enthusiasm into sports journalism, particularly F1, a sport that has captivated him for over a decade. Pranay's deep-rooted love for the sport began during the Sebastian Vettel era, and he has been following it religiously ever since.
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Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai

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