Mercedes ‘feared worse’, aim to be at the front in ‘2-3 races’

Henry Valantine
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton rounds Turn 1. Bahrain March 2022.

Lewis Hamilton makes his way around the Turn 1 hairpin. Bahrain March 2022.

Mercedes chief technical officer James Allison said the team still have a deficit to Ferrari and Red Bull, but it’s not as much as first feared.

The team’s problem with ‘porpoising’ in Bahrain hampered their performance and, while their issues extend further than that, Allison said Mercedes should be able to get themselves back to the front pretty quickly.

He explained that it’s “reassuring” to know that the problems they have are fixable from within, having identified their main issues and are already working on fixing them.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell capitalised on Red Bull’s misfortunes in Bahrain to finish third and fourth on Sunday, but Allison knows they still have a lot of work to do to get back on the pace within “two or three races”.

“It is a big job,” Allison said in Mercedes’ post-race debrief video. “We are something like 0.6 of a second, maybe more, off the pace of the leaders in Bahrain but we are carrying a lot of problems and a lot of problems that all have solutions and all of those solutions are within our compass to deliver.

“Yes, it is challenging but actually after winter testing I’d feared worse and I think actually the performance improvement we’ve managed to deliver from winter testing to the first race, while perhaps not visible to the fans and perhaps not reassuring to the fans, is reassuring in house here within the team and what we have ahead of us, the way in which we are approaching the problems and the way in which we will bring solutions also gives me some comfort that we will get back to a competitive car quite swiftly and that we will be able to pursue the objective we have of championships.”


Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the W13 is currently underperforming in all areas, but Allison added that the team are confident of getting on top of their issues relatively quickly, and will still be in the World Championship hunt as a result.

“It is a big job, it is an ambitious car, some will argue that perhaps we have bitten off more than we can chew with it but we are very good chewers in this team and we intend to put these problems right as quickly as possible, hopefully in the next two or three races, but in any case we will put them right and we will get our car back at the front of the grid competing as we all intend to, to allow us to pursue our dream of championship success,” he concluded.


Wolff: Mercedes underperforming in all areas

Toto Wolff has revealed that Mercedes' W13 isn't performing in any area.