Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Martin Brundle has claimed Lewis Hamilton could still maintain his F1 record and secure a win with Mercedes before the end of the season. Hamilton has stood on the top-step of the podium in every season since he joined the sport in 2007.
However, his 15-year run is under threat as the Silver Arrows continue to struggle to overthrow Max Verstappen and Red Bull. Hamilton came close to winning at the United States Grand Prix with the team looking more competitive due to a range of new parts.
The Briton inherited the lead after a Red Bull error during Verstappen’s second stop. The Dutchman dropped to P3 after the issue but quickly passed Charles Leclerc to hunt down the Mercedes.
Verstappen got through just a handful of laps before the end of the race after using the help of DRS to get the job done. But, Brundle suggests the new changes to Mercedes could still reward Hamilton or George Russell by the end of the season.
He wrote in his Sky Sports column: “It very much looked that after a great drive Lewis Hamilton would win his first GP of the season in the closing stages, but his car on hard compound tyres couldn’t stand the necessary pace and the Red Bull on medium compound tyres and with prolific straight line speed and a very determined Verstappen behind the wheel was just too fast for him in the end.
“The latest updates at least give both drivers and the team hope for a glorious and long awaited late season victory.” Mercedes introduced a new floor and rear wing for Austin in what are among the team’s final upgrades before turning their attention to their 2023 design.
Team principal Toto Wolff praised the updates after qualifying on Saturday and again after the race. The Austrian explained: “No doubt, Red Bull are still ahead of us, but I think we’re getting closer to them and Ferrari – and that’s a positive outcome for us.
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“We brought an upgrade to Austin and we’ve seen that reflected in terms of car performance.” The team showed off a controversial new front wing design last weekend which could be on the car for the Mexican Grand Prix.
The new wing comes with five fasteners which the Silver Arrows say are in place to hold the wing together. But, the FIA believe it could be designed to push airflow outwards which the FIA have tried to avoid in the new rules.
Mercedes’ Mike Elliott suggested Mercedes could use the wing but admitted it could be scrapped to avoid any penalties. He added: “Personally, I think we could argue them. But the question becomes whether we want to or not. The gain for those bits is so small, is it worth the risk of falling foul of the stewards?”
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