Mercedes on the F1 2022 race that made them most proud after Sao Paulo GP

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes' George Russell on track at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2022. F1 Qualifying results

Mercedes' George Russell on track at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2022.

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin explained why Austria was the race outside of Sao Paulo that made the team proudest last season.

Qualifying for the 2022 Austrian GP was something of a nightmare for the Silver Arrows at an already difficult time considering the performance struggles of the W13.

With Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both crashing out during Q3, Mercedes were even left needing to create a new floor out of pieces of the old ones, yet managed a podium finish on the Sunday courtesy of Hamilton, with Russell claiming P4.

“So apart from Brazil, which race made us most proud? For me it was probably Austria to be honest,” said Shovlin in a Mercedes debrief video.

“We’d crashed both cars in qualifying, it was a sprint race, we didn’t have any spares of the floors and there was a massive amount of work that went on in the garage to try and get those cars ready to race the next day.

“They were in pretty poor shape and we were actually making sections of the floor and having to bond it on, but brilliant job by all the mechanics to get those ready and back out on the track the next day.”

2023 title challenge would make Mercedes proud

Mercedes have reflected on the 2022 campaign as one that despite being disappointing, was extremely valuable as a learning experience as they now look to turn that into a far improved 2023 season.

We have seen that Mercedes have what it takes to step up to a title fight, doing that to devastating effect from 2014, but this will be Mercedes’ first attempt at returning to the title picture after a major setback has dropped them out of it.

It is not only their pedigree though that suggests they will be able to make this recovery, as the team was able to improve their overall performance level as the 2022 season went on.

The issue was consistency, with the high of their one-two in Brazil followed by a performance at the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP where they were once more behind Red Bull and Ferrari.

The team are now expected to turn these lessons learned into a modified W14, so a 2023 season where they are back in the title fight would be the ideal reward.

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