Mercedes warned of facing ‘downward spiral’ in W15 performance prediction

Sam Cooper
Toto Wolff with the Mercedes logo behind him.

Toto Wolff is still hoping to lead a Mercedes resurgence.

Johnny Herbert has warned Mercedes that they are facing a “downward spiral” should the W15 not bring them back to the front of the grid.

Mercedes are staring at a third season of being out of the title race having failed to challenge Red Bull since 2021, but the redesigned W15 is expected by the Silver Arrows to put up more of a fight than its two predecessors.

But if that does not prove to be the case then former F1 driver turned pundit, Herbert, has warned they could be facing a “downward spiral”.

Gloomy future predicted for Mercedes if W15 fails in performance revival

Mercedes failed to win a race in 2023 having initially decided to stick to their zeropod car design but early tests showed their error and they switched to a B-spec concept from Monaco onwards.

That concept more closely resembles the new W15 but Herbert said if that does not prove to be much better than Mercedes could be stuck in a rut.

“They’ve got to get the performance,” Herbert said when asked by for his season predictions. “Now this is going to be a really critical year for them.

“Because if they can’t, or don’t make the car competitive, I think this is going to be a horrible downward spiral which they’ve sort of been in for the last couple of years. recommends

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“Because their mindset with their concept obviously hasn’t worked and if it doesn’t work this year, I think there is that horrible situation where they’re probably thinking that they are lost, because I don’t think they know exactly what they need to do.”

There was at least one positive Herbert noticed on the W15 which is Lewis Hamilton’s long-standing issue of the seat placement appears to be solved.

“With Lewis, one thing that he’s mentioned about his seating position,” Herbert said. “I know that has shifted a little bit further back.

“It’s a really horrible feeling when, like Lewis says, you’re sitting on that front axle when the car is pivoting around you and you don’t feel that you’ve got any connection with the car at all. So it’d be interesting to see if that makes the car more consistent for one thing.”

The interview with Johnny Herbert was arranged courtesy of Grosvenor Sport.

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