“Time is Running Out” – Former World Champion Predicts Gloomy F1 Future for Mercedes Amidst ‘Complex Problems’

Published 04/30/2022, 2:11 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 18, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Mercedes dominated for the past eight years, but they are struggling a lot this season. Since the season-opener in Bahrain, the Silver Arrow duo has complained about porpoising with the 2022 challenger W13. The German constructors have made some adjustments, but the W13s are still far from perfect.

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George Russell finished P4 with the ‘undrivable’ car in the last race. But Lewis Hamilton had a poor day in Imola, as he got caught in the DRS train and couldn’t move up in positions, finishing at P13. Further, Hamilton had to face another disappointing moment in the race when Max Verstappen lapped him.

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Former F1 driver Mika Hakkinen is concerned that the time is running out for the Silver Arrows as the Brackley base doesn’t have much time in hand to improve the car’s performance and joined the fight for the 2022 world championship.

Hakkinen reported, “Seeing Lewis Hamilton being overtaken by Max Verstappen after 41 laps show how difficult he and the team are going through.” (quotes translated using google)

They understand the main problems, but the time is running out to find solutions.” Hakkinen further continued, “That’s the problem in F1 – the world championship doesn’t wait for you, the races go on and on, and there’s so little time to sort out the major issues.”

Mercedes is looking for answers to solve porpoising to find ‘plenty of time’

The Silver Arrows made the 2022 challenger following the new rules and regulations introduced for this season. However, the car’s design didn’t do as well as they had anticipated. So, the Brackley base had to increase the ride height of the W13. But doing so leads the team to lose a lot of speed and lap time.

The German constructor is busy looking for answers to solve their issues this season. Even team principal Toto Wolff claims that solving the porpoising can help them gain a lot of speed in the future races.

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Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 23, 2022, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the sprint race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

Talking about the car’s aerodynamic qualities, Wolff said, “But we haven’t been able to exploit them because of the porpoising of the car. If we’re able to sort it out, that means there’s plenty of time we can find. Otherwise, we’ll have to have another idea.”

After the Imola GP, Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin revealed the team is working on upgrades. They are pretty optimistic about those upgrades, which they plan to unveil as soon as the upcoming Miami GP.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Lewis Hamilton Shows Off New Tattoo Ahead Of The Upcoming Met Gala

It would be the first time the Silver Arrows will take on the Miami International Autodrome. So, it would be fascinating to see what they will have in store for them at the inaugural Miami GP.

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Ripan Majumdar

373 articles

Ripan Majumdar is an F1 writer at Essentially Sports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Science from West Bengal State University, Kolkata. Ripan is a massive Red Bull Racing and Sergio Perez fan, and has been following the sport for over the past few years.

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