Mercedes F1 Stuck in ‘No-Man’s-Land’ as Wolff Bemoans Dismal W13 Performance

Published 05/13/2022, 5:45 AM EDT
IMOLA, ITALY – OCTOBER 30: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff walk in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on October 30, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Team Mercedes is in a dilemma. Toto Wolff and Co. are close to the most crucial stages of the competition, but with the third-fastest car. And neither of the drivers is making it to the front row.

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The team’s qualifying restricts them to a midfield spot and has been a worry for Lewis Hamilton particularly. The Briton has sometimes been right on the edge of getting disqualified from Q1 and has already faced that once in Saudi.

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Toto Wolff and the team are still looking for results

Fans have been hearing constant chants of “Trying to unlock the pace”, with no fruitful results. The Brackley unit is clearly way behind their rivals, and from the looks of it, the season could be out of their hands. The W13’s pod-less approach has undergone several setup changes, but nothing has unleashed its true potential.

Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 7, 2022 Mercedes’ George Russell during qualifying REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Though we did get a glimpse of some improvement in Miami. Russell miraculously landed the car on number 1 for FP2 after locking in number 2 for FP1.

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However, the race results were disappointing. On the constant fall and rise of W13, Team boss Toto Wolff said, “At the end of the day there isn’t a happy or unlucky moment; right now it’s a bit boring. We’re third fastest on the track – sort of in absolute no man’s land. We had a good Friday, we need to find out why that was and then come back.”

Worries pile up for Mercedes F1

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Miami was definitely disappointing for the Silver Arrows’ after Russell failed to qualify for Q3 after tremendous practice results. For a moment there, just when everyone thought that Mercedes was back, the spark was gone. Moreover, the porpoising issue has been stuck to the car, and though oscillations have reduced over time, they never leave completely.

Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 7, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during qualifying REUTERS/Brian Snyder

To add fuel to the fire, the database is also not matching what the drivers are reporting. Shedding some light on the issue, Wolff claimed, “We’ve never had a situation in all these years where the data didn’t match at all with what we see on our screens with what the driver feels, and that makes it even more difficult.” 

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Clearly, the German manufacturers are in much more trouble than initially thought. Their situation looks painful and while they try to bounce back, everything seems to hold the team back.

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Khyati Yadav

259 articles

Khyati Yadav is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. She is a Hospitality Graduate and a huge fan of Lando Norris. She believes that F1 as a sport deserves a lot more attention and is intrigued by the process that goes behind the making of a car and the hard work that goes into the setting up of any Grand Prix.

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