Former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan senses people are leaving Mercedes out of the F1 2024 title discussions, which he warns could be a “mistake”.
It has been a tough couple of seasons for Mercedes, who are yet to find the secret to title-contending form in the Formula 1 ground effect era.
Red Bull has been ruling the roost, claiming a remarkable 21 grand prix wins out of 22 last season, thus confirming back-to-back title doubles in dominant fashion.
Eddie Jordan warns sleeping on Mercedes a possible ‘mistake’
2023 served as Mercedes’ first winless campaign since 2011, but as they prepare to put a redesigned challenger on the F1 2024 track with their W15, the team are very much hoping to return to the title picture for the first time since 2021.
Ferrari, as well as McLaren who surged up the order in 2023, both have similar intentions, but Jordan picked up on the feeling that those two teams are being mooted as possible F1 2024 title challengers, while Mercedes are not, which could be a dangerous oversight.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton remains on seven World Championship titles as he chases that record-breaking eighth, which Jordan believes he is certainly capable of achieving.
“I’m not sure what’s going on there, but people are not talking about Mercedes like they used to, to be fair,” said Jordan on the Formula For Success podcast.
“They’re not looking at them as title contenders, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that it’s Max again and then we’re talking about Ferrari, we’re talking about McLaren.
“But I think we could be making a mistake there, because I think Lewis still has it in him to be a World Champion again, that’s what I believe.”
Eddie Jordan feels Toto Wolff ‘toned down arrogance’
With Mercedes having scored one win in 2022, completing the Brazil sprint and grand prix double, the team decided to stick with their unique ‘zero-pod’ concept, which they soon realised was a mistake.
Hamilton did not shy away from criticising the team when it became clear that the W14 was off the pace, team principal Toto Wolff similarly critical, which Jordan felt was “arrogant” and “wrong” from Wolff.
However, he believes that was “toned down” by the one-third Mercedes team owner as the season went on, focus switching to ensuring that the W15 will right the wrongs.
“I just think there was a touch of arrogance from Toto at the beginning of the year,” Jordan suggested.
“And glad to see he toned down from that, because I took all the questions when he said the engineers have got it wrong, whereas I said, ‘Listen, you’re the CEO of the company, you are ultimately responsible, the buck stops with you. You got that wrong. The word you should have said, in my opinion Toto, is ‘We got it wrong’.
“Because he is a huge part of that team. The structure he has helped build it, we know how powerful it was, we know what a success it has been. So when it goes wrong, I think we all have to put our hands up and share in it.”
Both Hamilton and team-mate George Russell have committed to the Mercedes recovery mission, signing new contracts that run to the end of 2025.