Helmut Marko, in a recent interview, has slammed Mercedes for complaining after the Bahrain round of pre-season testing. Many including Marko believe it’s just the same old tactic of Mercedes where they downplay their development and go on to win the season. Lewis Hamilton, after the testing was completed, said that he thinks Mercedes won’t be competing for the win in the season opener in Bahrain. He said, “We are not the quickest at the moment. Ferrari look quickest, then perhaps Red Bull and maybe McLaren. But we are currently not at the top. At the moment, I don’t think we will be competing for wins.”
Whereas, the other Mercedes driver, George Russell, said, “I believe there is potential there, we just need to figure a way to unlock that performance.” So, Mercedes have collectively come out and, in unison, have claimed that they’re not at their best. Although, it’s suspected that Mercedes have been sandbagging in Bahrain and severely underplaying their performance.
To all these claims of the Silver Arrows, Marko, as quoted by PlanetF1, said, “But we also know Mercedes – they always whine during the test drives, and then it suddenly goes boom. It was the same last year. They also had problems during the test and still won the first race.”
Remarks for Mercedes other than Helmut Marko’s
It’s a classic tactic of the teams to downplay their performance. But it seems as if no other team does it better than Mercedes. They have been under fire of words from several drivers and bosses on the grid other than Marko.
Earlier, Ferrari driver, Carlos Sainz, too, slammed George Russell for his aforementioned comments. Carlos said, “I think it’s typical Mercedes, typical George,” he said. “Just hype up the others and then come to the first race and blow the competition away, which is typical. If it would be the first year they’ve done it then I would maybe believe them, but they have done it for five, six years now and they keep [performing] in the first race.”
As Carlos has said, the team hypes up others in the testing and booms from the first race onwards. And it’s pretty understandable why Mercedes wouldn’t be worried. The team is setting up for Lewis Hamilton’s eighth championship and would have left no stone unturned in the development of their W13.