Aston Martin unbothered by Mercedes threat as Silver Arrows drops down into F1 midfield

Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?

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Mercedes will be treated like any other midfield team and not be given special treatment while their problems continue despite having Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in their driver line-up. Speaking to Express Sport, Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has claimed the ‘level of all teams is very high’ and are not daunted by the Silver Arrows.

He said it ‘doesn’t really matter’ that it was the reigning constructors’ champions in the fight as the team just wants to ‘finish in front’. When asked by Express Sport what it’s like racing the iconic German manufacturer in the midfield fight, Krack simply said they were the same as any competitor.

He explained: “We respect all our competitors, be it Mercedes or anyone else. The level of all the teams is very high and it doesn’t really matter if you fight Mercedes or you fight someone else.

“It’s a competitor and you have to fight hard. If it is Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull or any other team it doesn’t really matter to us, we want to finish in front of them.”

Just weeks ago Mercedes claimed they were the third-fastest team and believed they had some kind of buffer to the midfield to experiment with the car.

But Mercedes’ issues appeared to worsen in Imola with both cars battling with the regular midfield teams all weekend. Hamilton and Russell were both knocked out in Q2 on Friday and were unable to break through the field in the sprint race.

The Mercedes found it hard to pass cars with Hamilton only 13th in the race despite having use of the DRS. The team continued to struggle with their porpoising issues all weekend with Russell even complaining of pains after the race.

However, the Mercedes rookie fought the car to fourth to ensure the Silver Arrows only dropped to third in the constructors’ standings.

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But, as the development race hots up it appears this gap has gone in a worrying sign for the Silver Arrows heading to Miami.

Andrew Shovlin, trackside engineering director for Mercedes said: “We know where we are on performance right now and we know where we need to get to. However, there are a couple of major issues with the car that if we can fix, we can find a lot of that gap quite quickly but time is getting critical now and we need to move forward in the next two races if we are to keep the leaders within any kind of reach this year.”

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