Martin Brundle has a bad feeling about Mercedes’s chances of winning the 2023 Formula 1 season opening in Bahrain this weekend. Will Mercedes be able to come back from this?
When the W13, Mercedes’s Formula One entry for 2022, made its paddock premiere a year ago with its “Zeropod” design, everyone assumed the eight-time Constructors Champions had delivered another Silver masterpiece.
As it turned out, though, the W13 was a terrible, bouncing machine that made Lewis Hamilton and George Russell dread every minute they spent inside the car’s cockpit.
Mercedes has stuck with the narrow side-pods concept for the 2023 season, and while the bouncing seems to have been fixed, the W14 still wasn’t fast enough, and nobody in the Mercedes garage was pleased.
Mercedes’s Odd Situation
Former Formula One driver and acclaimed commentator Martin Brundle shared his thoughts on the current state of affairs at Mercedes,
“It’s odd isn’t it right now, look at Liverpool for example,” Brundle said. “Little nuances, where you change the personnel, and there’s maybe a lack of confidence. That’s what I’m seeing at Mercedes at the moment.
“I thought last year they would just ace that car really quickly,” the Briton added. “When we saw it in the paddock a year ago, it was like: ‘Nobody is going to see that for dust’, which was wrong.
“Clearly they’ve still got to finesse it, and they need to do it early. Remember, last year, Verstappen didn’t score any points until the second race, and still smashed the world championship.
“They’ll need to get in there quickly, will Mercedes Benz, and sort it,” the 158-race veteran summed up.
Mercedes improved their vehicle in 2022, and George Russell won in Sao Paulo, but the W13 remained unreliable throughout the season, with the team unable to anticipate whether or not it will function at any given F1 weekend.
The three-day Bahrain test ended last Saturday, with Hamilton finishing second fastest on the last day, over three-tenths behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, although on a softer tyre compound than that used by the Mexican, so the distance is larger.
Would the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix be a problem for Mercedes?