Mercedes Points Out the Horrifying Moment Where Things Went Wrong for Lewis Hamilton & Co.

Published 01/22/2023, 6:45 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Singapore Grand Prix – Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore – September 29, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix REUTERS/Edgar Su

The Mercedes truck of dominance ran out of fuel in 2022, thanks to a problematic W13 that gave its drivers a literal body ache and the engineering team a headache. After adversity, things could have spiraled even further for the Silver Arrows. But they held their ground by keeping morale and family spirit high within the team. Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton stepped up and helped things improve.

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Looking back to point out the errors made in W13 would now be easy for the team, which they can fix for the 2023 season and have a real shot at the championships yet again. But where did things actually go wrong for them? Did they misinterpret the new regulations? Or was it something else? Nevermind guessing. Mike Elliott, the team’s technical director, has revealed the moment when the season went south.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 20, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

As quoted by Car and Driver, the Mercedes engineer, pointing out how things progressed after the first calculation error or bad judgment, said, “Where we directed the car, curiously, we had it well when we started. And then we had a result in the simulation that made us choose a slightly different direction.”

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“It’s easy to go back and say, ‘Why did that happen?’. But I think in all these things, it’s always easy to go back and say, ‘If we hadn’t taken that step there, we would have been in a very different position’,” he said about how good things would’ve been for Mercedes after taking a different route.

Everyone would love to see Mercedes join Ferrari and Red Bull at the front of the grid. And now that Mercedes appears to have discovered its Achilles heel last year, let us hope that it can completely repair it and build the car that we have seen it capable of producing in previous seasons.

Toto Wolff acknowledges Mercedes’s silly decision

Toto Wolff has led Mercedes for nearly a decade. And it was during his tenure that Mercedes began competing in and dominating the turbo-hybrid era. So, one can surely say he is one of those guys who hardly takes a wrong step.

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Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 29, 2022 Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

But as seen in 2022, things went wrong, and Wolff admits to getting things wrong, the first step towards fixing a mistake. As quoted by PlanetF1, he said, “But we haven’t suddenly taken a stupid pill, winning the Constructor’ Championship last December and then in March being nowhere is very easy. We got the concept wrong.”

“We underestimated the effect when running the car very low, and others have done a better job whether they knew the effect from past days or they were simply more focused on this particular area of car behavior. I don’t know.”

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WATCH THIS STORY: Victorious Lewis Hamilton & George Russell Share Heartwarming Post-Sprint Moment at Brazilian GP

The team believes that they had issues with the architecture of the car, so they plan to stick with the controversial zeropod concept and mostly the same chassis. Although Mercedes has a history of making things work like a beast, it still raises doubts amongst its fans.

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Manan Goel

88 articles

Manan Goel is a Formula 1 author at EssentiallySports. As a literature student at Delhi University, he had been a geek for fiction and a nerd for sports. He claims Sebastian Vettel was his first love after seeing him at the Indian Grand Prix, and he has been a fan of the sport and Red Bull ever since.

Edited By: Varunkumaar Chelladurai

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