Former F1 star Johnny Herbert has expressed confidence in Mercedes’ performance uplift, following Lewis Hamilton’s contract renewal. Herbert’s insights suggest significant advancements within the team, especially in their car design, setting the stage for a competitive season ahead.
- Mercedes’ Design Challenges: Herbert has raised doubts about Mercedes’ ability to resolve their ground effect concept issues, despite some improvements. Their performance has been inconsistent, with only sporadic successes like their performance in the Austin Grand Prix.
- Hamilton’s Renewal and Car Improvements: The effort to retain Lewis Hamilton indicates substantial improvements in Mercedes’ car, particularly noted in simulations. This is crucial given the intense competition, especially from teams like Red Bull.
- Fierce Competition Ahead: The upcoming season isn’t just about Mercedes and Red Bull. Herbert underscores potential advancements from teams like Ferrari, McLaren, and Aston Martin, adding complexity to the championship battle.
The 2024 Formula 1 season is poised for an intriguing start, with Johnny Herbert’s analysis of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton’s contract extension adding to the anticipation. Mercedes, a team that has dominated the sport for years, found themselves grappling with design challenges in the past two seasons. Their struggles with the ground effect concept led to inconsistent performances, a notable dip from their usual high standards.
Herbert’s comments shed light on these challenges and the team’s potential strategies for overcoming them. He questioned Mercedes’ ability to revamp their design philosophy effectively:
“Can they do it? That is the key. The ground effect concept didn’t work. They said they knew what was wrong and that they knew how to fix it. Clearly, they didn’t and couldn’t.”
“They improved a bit but it was sporadic. They had a good race in Austin so the car showed signs it could be competitive, but it was not very often.”
Herbert further probed the possibility of a significant shift in Mercedes’ approach:
“Have they been able to throw away the concept of the past two years, dig a hole and stick it in the ground? Then appearing next to it is a concept that will actually improve upon the performances? Have they got the ability to do that?”
Regarding Hamilton’s contract extension, Herbert pointed out its significance for the team’s development:
“With all the negotiations to keep Lewis, they must have shown him they have improved the car substantially at least on the simulator. But they are not only up against making themselves more competitive, they are also up against trying to beat Red Bull.”
He also emphasized the importance of considering the broader competitive landscape in Formula 1:
“But you can’t just focus on them. There’s bound to be improvement from Ferrari and McLaren and maybe Aston Martin.”
As the new season approaches, all eyes will be on Mercedes and their ability to bounce back. With Hamilton’s expertise and the team’s promised improvements, they aim to reclaim their dominant position in the sport.
We extend our thanks to MegaDice.com for facilitating this insightful interview with Johnny Herbert.