Mercedes F1 Director Makes a Brutally Honest Admission Amidst “Ripple Problem”

Published 04/02/2022, 7:07 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 18, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The 2022 season of Formula 1 has seen Ferrari dominate the first two races. Red Bull is closing in on them, after an excellent result in Saudi Arabia. However, the change in regulations and the start of a new era has not been kind to reigning Constructors’ Champions, Mercedes. The porpoising issues to the W13 have continued into the second race as well.

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To make matters worse, the qualifying session in Saudi Arabia saw Lewis Hamilton get knocked out in Q1. The likes of Red Bull and Ferrari have capitalized on Mercedes’ poor start to the season. Even though they got a surprise podium in Bahrain, the Silver Arrows are still not confident in the car’s potential.

They will hope to resolve their issues before the Australian Grand Prix as Mercedes engineering director Andrew Shovlin explains what the Silver Arrows can do to solve the issues.

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Mercedes are trying to get on top of the issues

Mercedes struggled with pace from the Bahrain testing, courtesy of porpoising issues. Many believed that the Silver Arrows were sandbagging in the testing. However, to the fans’ surprise, they did not have the pace to match Red Bull and Ferrari.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 19, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during qualifying REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Speaking on the issues with the car and whether the Brackley-based team can bounce back from a tough start, Andrew Shovlin said, “What we don’t know is where we will actually be in terms of car performance if we magically get over the ripple problem. Is our car not fast enough? It is very difficult to answer that question right now.”

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Lewis Hamilton finished on the podium in Bahrain. George Russell also had a solid start to his Mercedes career as he finished P4 on his debut. However, the result did not show the full picture as Red Bull’s issues with the fuel system resulted in both the cars retiring. Max Verstappen was on course for a second-place finish while Sergio Perez was ahead of both the Mercedes.

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On to Saudi Arabia, things took a turn for the worse, as Hamilton’s Q1 exit shocked the F1 world. Subsequently, he managed a 10th place finish in the race, but the team knew they were far from where they wanted to be. Shovlin also revealed that they are working quickly to solve the issues. However, at the moment, he admits that time is not their friend.

It is no question that the Silver Arrows are nowhere near the top two. However, we have seen them bounce back from these circumstances before. Can Toto Wolff and Co pull a rabbit out of the hat and win the Championship again? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Rahul Madhavan

436 articles

Rahul Madhavan is a Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Bachelor's degree in business administration, he is pursuing his love for sports in the form of writing. Rahul is an avid McLaren fan, who also enjoys writing about soccer.

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