Mercedes describe performance ‘roller coaster’ through 2022 season

Jon Wilde
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix. Zandvoort, September 2022.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix. Zandvoort, September 2022.

Technical director Mike Elliott has discussed the “roller coaster” ride Mercedes have experienced through the season with the problematic W13.

The eight-time consecutive Constructors’ champions designed a car for the new F1 regulations that never gave them a chance of making it nine titles in a row.

Sixteen races into the 2022 campaign, Mercedes still find themselves without a win – although the results Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are able to dig out have become much more positive than at the start of the campaign, with podium finishes now coming along on a regular basis.

And the ability to maximise their achievements, in contrast to mistake-riddled Ferrari, means Mercedes still have a chance to finish second to Red Bull, being 35 points behind the Scuderia with six races remaining.

Clearly this is not the season the Silver Arrows would have hoped for after a lengthy spell of dominance – and Elliott has referred to the peaks and troughs which, with time, appear to have become more circuit-related.

“I think it has been a pretty frustrating season,” said Elliott during the team’s debrief for public consumption of the Italian Grand Prix, in which Russell finished third and Hamilton, from 19th on the grid due to an engine penalty, fifth.

“Not only from our general performance level compared to where we have been in previous years, but also the roller coaster we’ve been on race to race where we have seen our performance go up and down.

“I think we’ve been working hard to improve performance and we’ve gradually been doing that through the season, but we’ve also been trying to get on top of this understanding of why certain circuits are good for us and certain circuits bad for us.

“The word that has come out of that has sort of given us a tool that pretty much allows us to predict where we will be, so we knew going into Monza it would be a more challenging circuit.

“It would be a bit more like we had seen it in Spa and less like we had seen it at Zandvoort and Budapest.

“I think having said that, given the car we had, to bring it back in third and fifth places I think was a good result for us. It showed we operated the car really well, the drivers got the best out of it.

“Given the position we are in with the car, I think I couldn’t ask for any more than that.”

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