Rosberg fears Mercedes’ issues could spill into 2023

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton wipes his face after a race. Bahrain March 2022.

Lewis Hamilton wipes his face with nose stud visible. Bahrain March 2022.

Unless Mercedes get a handle on their porpoising problems soon, Nico Rosberg says their issue may bleed into next year’s championship.

2022 is not shaping up to be the season Mercedes wanted.

Instead of fighting for race wins and the World title, the Brackley squad is battling just to make it into Q3 while podiums have been hard to come by.

Four races into the season it is clear that George Russell seems to be able to cope with the “viper” that is the W13 easier than Hamilton, the Briton failing to score a single point at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Scraping into Q2 by 0.004s, that set the tone for Hamilton’s weekend with the seven-time World Champion unable to draw any pace out of his car.

It lead to a tense exchange between Hamilton and Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff on Friday evening, the Austrian saying it was nothing more than both parties venting to one another about their troubles.

So much so that after Sunday’s race, Wolff was immediately on the radio to apologise for giving Hamilton an undrivable car.

Rosberg reckons they need to sort this out quick, or risk it bleeding into 2023.

“Toto teased Lewis a bit in the garage because Lewis did something that didn’t suit him,” he told Sky Germany.

“And Toto is the only one on the team who can really give Lewis his opinion, go in really hard and say ‘it doesn’t work.’ We saw the first signs there.

“It’s very difficult to remain optimistic because they now see that the World Championship – they say so themselves – is probably over.

“And there is even a risk that next year will also be difficult because the development of next year’s car is already starting.”

He added: “If they’re on the wrong track, then next year will be gone too, so the risk is increasing immensely right now, and they’re under so much pressure to find the way quickly and find out what the problem is.”

Rosberg also feels if Mercedes don’t resolve their troubles soon, Formula 1 will witness more tense exchanges such as Friday’s.

“I’m sure they have an incredibly strong relationship, and a lot of respect for each other,” he said. “Nevertheless, there will always be more heated moments.

 

“Lewis is complaining a bit more about the team, the engineers. The pressure is growing internally. But Toto is a very, very strong leader. He’ll keep it under control.”

Mercedes are third in the Constructors’ Championship with Hamilton only P7 in the Drivers’ standings. Russell is fourth.

 

Rosberg predicts 'more heated moments' between Hamilton Wolff

Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff "vented" at each other during the Imola GP weekend, and expect to hear that more throughout this season.