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Mercedes remain committed to Formula One despite the problems suffered by Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in the early months of the season. The Silver Arrows remain well behind Red Bull and Ferrari having found it tough to upgrade their W13 car.
Hamilton has managed just one podium finish as he seeks to win back the world championship from rival Max Verstappen. The iconic racer has lacked speed and performance so far in 2022.
Russell has fared slightly better than his experienced team-mate. However, the British pair continue to complain about problems with their vehicle.
Mercedes have won the constructors’ championship for the last eight years but will likely relinquish that title to either Ferrari or Red Bull. Despite that, the team have insisted that they remain committed to F1 due to the sport’s ambitious target for net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. Greener engines will be introduced by 2026.
Mercedes-Benz hairman Ola Kallenius said: “We have decided to go down this path of decarbonisation. It is the only decision we can make, and the same goes for Formula One.”
The businessman, who owns Mercedes alongside team principal Toto Wolff and billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, added: “The next engine regulations will give much more importance to the electric part, and there is a clear commitment to make Formula One CO2 neutral. For the next regulation, the proportion of electricity used on a lap will increase.
“There will still be a combustion engine but it will be used as a laboratory to develop CO2-free fuels, which the aviation industry will probably need, and maybe also to reduce the footprint of the existing car fleet.”
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Fresh F1 regulations introduced over the winter meant that teams had to build their cars from scratch. Mercedes have spent significantly on upgrades as they attempt to catch up with Ferrari and Red Bull.
Team principal Wolff believes there is an ‘easy route’ to improving the car but insists they must get the ‘balance’ correct.
Implying that Mercedes will continue to take risks as they develop the W13, the Austrian said: “I think there is an easy route out and you just say, ‘We are not able to generate it over the floor’ and you patch it up, make it stiffer and see where you end up in performance.
“That is probably faster than where we are at now, but we haven’t yet capitulated and gone back to the simpler solutions.”
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