Mercedes want Constructors P2 finish but priority is fighting for 2023 title

Sam Cooper
Mercedes logo at Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2022.

Mercedes’ technical director Mike Elliott said the number one goal for the team was to return to Championship contention in 2023.

With six rounds to go in 2022, Mercedes have gone from winning nine races the year previously to not once being the first across the line.

While the team have recovered somewhat from their awful porpoising-plagued start, they are yet to truly battle for a race victory.

Toto Wolff and co have made it clear that winning a race in 2022 is a realistic goal but the team’s technical director Elliott has admitted the main goal is to be back in contention for the Championship next season.

“We want to try and fight Ferrari for that P2 position, we want to try and win a race this season or multiple races ideally but most of all we want to get ourselves back on track so we are fighting properly for a Championship next year.

“That’s not any disrespect to our opposition, we’ve got fantastic opposition but that’s what we really need to do because we want to be back there, we want to be challenging for championships because that’s what we are about.”

The 2022 campaign will bring an end to a previously unseen period of dominance in Formula 1 with Mercedes winning the last eight Constructors’ titles. The calendar has just seen a run of three races back-to-back in Spa, Zandvoort and Monza and while Elliott did admit the team was tired, he knows there is work to be done in the final six grands prix.

“I think having three races in a month is always a pretty tough ask, particular for the race team but also for the team in the factory,” he said.

“I think we’ve had some good races and we’ve had some not so good races but I think what’s really encouraging for me is that the understanding that is coming from the simulation work we do and the understanding that is coming from the wind tunnel is allowing us to work out why our performance is going up and down, what we need to do to get back into the fight right at the front and what we need to do over the winter.

“I think that are the key things. What we need to do over the next six races of the season is we just need to do what we always do which is race as best we can.”

Mercedes currently trail Ferrari by 35 points in the Constructors’ Championship. George Russell is fourth in the Drivers’ standings while Lewis Hamilton is P6.