WATCH: Mercedes Fire Up 2022 F1 Challenger W13 for the First Time as Hamilton Remains Absent

Published 12/24/2021, 2:45 AM EST
Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 3, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in the pit land during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


The smiles are back at the Brackley outfit after a dull few weeks since the heartbreaking turn of events in Abu Dhabi. For the very first time, Mercedes AMG has managed to fire up the W13; the challenger that is in the making for the upcoming 2022 season.

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The German racing outfit unveiled the special firing-up video on social media, quoting it as the beginning of “A New Era“.

The video portrayed the engineers turning up the engine while the staff watched in awe with their fingers crossed at the Northamptonshire headquarters. Unfortunately, three of the biggest faces failed to make themselves present to witness this special occasion.

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One was the team’s boss and part-owner, Toto Wolff, who could only embrace the moment through a video call. The Austrian, who was absolutely fuming a couple of weeks back, was all smiles as he heard the powerful Mercedes engine scream for the first time.

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Mercedes F1 drivers fail to attend

While Wolff was at least virtually present, neither Lewis Hamilton nor George Russell was able to attend the event in any way. The latter, of course, could be busy holidaying with his friends and family amidst the nearing Christmas.

Also, more often than not, teams avoid disturbing the drivers until early January. Hence, it makes sense why Russell failed to show his presence at the breakthrough event. One can’t say the same about the 7-time world champion.

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FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot, Belgium – September 1, 2019 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Williams’ George Russell before the race REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo

Hamilton has gone off the radar since his defeat to Max Verstappen at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. No social media posts or updates whatsoever and no media interviews either. Even Wolff isn’t mindful of the Briton’s whereabouts.

Hence, this has forced many to re-ignite the rumor mill. Only this time, it is about Hamilton potentially following his former Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg’s footsteps by retiring from F1 despite having a contract in hand. So, a highly tense few weeks ahead for the entire Mercedes team, as they await Hamilton’s final decision.

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Being one of the most dominant F1 teams, they do have a lot of other options if the Briton chooses to walk away. But, could a driver like Lewis Hamilton ever be replaced?

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Rohit Kumar

1642 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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