Mercedes had been a dominant force in Formula 1 till the 2021 season. Lewis Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, lost to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, making him the first Dutch champion. To curb the dominance of a single team, FIA introduced new technical regulations in 2022. But it backfired as the Christian Horners’ team dominated the 2022 season and continued the same in 2023.
Mercedes encountered a tough start to the 2023 season with their W14 car in the initial six races. They only secured a single podium finish. After the summer break, W14 upgraded to close the gap with Red Bull but fell short. Despite having one of the strongest driver lineups of Hamilton and George Russell, Mercedes has a significant margin over Red Bull, which helped Verstappen’s team secure the constructed title last Sunday at Suzuka. They have the advantage going into 2023, so Hamilton has urged his team to close the gap by half this season to have better momentum.
In light of Red Bull’s dominance, Hamilton acknowledged the gap between Red Bull and Mercedes. He emphasized that even a mere one-second gap can determine their position in the upcoming season. Hamilton highlighted the need for Mercedes to address the challenges with W14 in order to have a strong battle next year.\
“I realize that a second gap is huge, and it’s real. To be two years in and still be a second down compared to the Red Bulls, it’s showing that we need to make sure that we really do a good job over the winter to get back at least half that gap before next year,” said Lewis Hamilton, as reported by racefans.net
Mercedes expected Redbull’s comeback after a disappointing performance in Singapore
Red Bull experienced their most disappointing weekend in Singapore, with both drivers struggling to secure top-four finishes. Ferrari managed to end Red Bull’s hopes of a perfect season in Singapore. However, Red Bull made a strong comeback in Suzuka, securing a victory with a significant margin of 20 seconds ahead of McLaren.
Mercedes trackside engineer Andrew Shovlin acknowledged that they expected Red Bull to perform well on their home track. He also noted that Red Bull’s success at Suzuka could be attributed to the circuit’s layout, which favors the RB18.
“I’m not surprised that they bounced back. We did that ourselves in Singapore. I’m sure theirs is for different reasons…. our internal messaging was ‘expect them to be back out front when we get back to Suzuka’. So that’s certainly not come as any surprise to the team. Apart from Singapore, they’ve got a car that works everywhere,” concluded Andrew Shovlin
Tanishka Sharma is a Motorsports content writer at Firstsportz. She has been following Formula One since her teenage years. The epic championship battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in the 2021 season re-ignited her passion for F1.
Tanishka is a Ferrari fan pursuing an English honors degree from Delhi University. She also has a sharp interest in English literature and is A2-level certified in German.
FirstSportz is the First Stop for all sports fanatics. Starting in 2019, we initially covered Olympic Sports, but in 2021 we added every other sport which you might be looking for, like NFL, Golf, MLB, WWE Cricket, Football, Tennis, Esports, NBA, MMA and more.