2022 has been a difficult season for the Mercedes team who have struggled throughout the majority of races so far. After a large upgrade package introduced at the French Grand Prix, the team was ready to potentially take a win, but the practice sessions said otherwise.
Lewis Hamilton said the following:
“Today we’re in fourth and fifth so that’s kind of the region that we’ll be fighting for,” replied Lewis
“I don’t mean that we can’t be on the podium, I think we can still be up there. We’re just still not as quick as those front guys – we’re a little bit further back than we were in the last race.”
George Russell was set back by the lack of performance from these new upgrades as he talked to the press as the Friday came to an end:
“A lot to go over. I think our high fuel pace was better than our low fuel pace so we need to make sure we optimise tomorrow to make sure there’s no midfield cars between us and the front four.”
“I think the Ferraris are probably stronger than us and Max was fast as usual, so work to do.”
Russel confirmed that they had found some time from these upgrades, but their competitors were able to keep up.
“We’re probably a little bit further off the pace today than we would have hoped. Work to do tonight back at the factories, but never say never.”
Mercedes is chucking money at their sidepod-less design, but with it not showing the performance they were expecting, other teams are wondering how long this will last before they hit the cost cap.
Matt Sommerfield wrote for motorsport.com, discussing the sidepods of teams:
“Aston Martin was originally at one extreme opting for the high waisted sidepod solution, whilst Williams and Mercedes had gone (initially at least) for a very short, quickly tapering arrangement.
“Having seen Aston Martin and Williams already turn their backs on their respective concepts, McLaren has become the latest to do so too.
“It now leaves just Mercedes to soldier on with its more compact sidepod design.”