Mercedes’ F1 Testing Struggles Would’ve Surprised Lewis Hamilton: Ralf Schumacher

Published 03/19/2021, 6:15 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Mercedes F1 had quite a challenging time in pre-season testing. While most expected the Silver Arrows to just rock up in Bahrain and perform flawlessly from the get-go, early indications are that it’ll be anything but a smooth ride.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Lewis Hamilton clearly struggled with the handling of the W12, beaching the car on Day 2 before spinning and almost colliding with Nikita Mazepin the next day. Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher reckons that it was quite a shock for Hamilton.

The ex-Williams driver believes that the 7-time World Champion was expecting a much better car. Ralf told Sky Sports Germany(h/t-PlanetF1), “The problems that Mercedes had during the winter tests were not resolved.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“You also saw Lewis Hamilton struggling with the car. He must have expected that it would be a lot better.”

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – Second placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during the F1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

In the last couple of months, the Silver Arrows had alluded to a few problems with the car and its reliability. But considering the kind of success they have had in the last 7 years, nobody was taking what they said at face value.

Therefore, the performance Mercedes displayed in 3 days of pre-season tests led to claims about them sandbagging. Whether that’s the truth on not is a whole different story. All said and done, the Brackley-based outfit’s newest challenger seemed riddled with complications.

Ralf Schumacher touches upon the problems that plague the Mercedes W12

Schumacher said, “Mercedes are struggling with problems, especially in the aerodynamic area. Particularly in the medium to high-speed corners, they seem to have problems entering and exiting the corners. And those problems were not resolved.”

With less than 2 weeks between the last day of testing and the race, Ralf isn’t very optimistic about Mercedes being able to fix their issues. That should ideally make for an interesting opening race, if not season.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Fans have long been waiting to see a real battle for the title. But the last 7 years have been nothing but sheer dominance from the German team. No one has come close to rival them.

However, in 2021, there appear to be a few chinks in their armor. The question is, will anyone be able to exploit their Achilles heel? Only time will tell.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Mercedes Admit “Red Bull Are Ahead on Performance” Following Dismal F1 Testing

about 2 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT