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Mercedes did not shine in the tests, Hamilton said he could not compete with Ferrari and Red Bull. But in the past, the Silver Arrows often went into hiding.
The countdown for the first race of the World Championship Formula 1 2022 has begun. Over the weekend we will race in Bahrain, there are many unknowns. The tests, carried out in Barcelona first and then in Bahrain, gave indications and made it clear that Ferrari is closer to the top than last season, and also said that Red Bull is on the ball, Verstappen has begun to savor the taste of victory and wants to continue to dominate. However, there is a big unknown that concerns Mercedes. Hamilton said that in the first race of the championship he will not have the chance to fight for success, but those who follow Formula 1 know that Mercedes has often bluffed in recent years and then won (almost always). This time around, however, everything looks different and the Mercedes really does seem a bit behind. It is difficult at the moment to understand whether or not the Silver Arrows will be able to return to competition to win the title.
The change in regulations will certainly change something in the status quo of the circus. There Mercedes the dominance has lost it and already last season it was hooked by Red Bull. He had already lost absolute dominance, but this year we are starting from scratch. Total tabula rasa. In Barcelona, Mercedes went pretty well, they paid attention above all to grinding kilometers and did it with a few rings, but that was not the goal.
In Bahrain, Mercedes presented itself with very extreme technical innovations that did not give, at least in appearance, the desired results. The porpoising remained, the Mercedes wasn’t particularly fast and it didn’t even have a great pace. But Hamilton and Russell have had some notable spikes, and considering that makes one think of the classic Mercedes bluff. Doubts remain.
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According to Hamilton, however, the die is cast but in the negative: “Right now, I don’t think we will be racing for wins. There is potential in our car to get there, but we have to learn to extract it. Right now we are not the fastest. Ferrari and Red Bull are ahead, then there is us. and maybe McLaren. From what I’ve been told, we have a lot of pace to find. “
Verstappen and Sainz are wary of Mercedes and think of the usual bluff
They don’t believe Hamilton and Russell, and even Toto Wolff, in the circus. Verstappen in Bahrain sent Mercedes skepticism back: “They always do that. If another team is doing well, they always say ‘oh no, obviously we’re not the favorites.’ But then a week later, when things are going well they suddenly say, ‘oh no, we’ve completely changed everything in just one week. It wasn’t a normal job, it’s something incredible. Thank you all the people in the factory. “
Of the same tenor was Sainz who beat Hamilton’s new teammate, namely Russell, who had indicated the favored Ferrari: “Let’s say that this is in line with the Mercedes style and also of George, we try to exalt the opponents and then come to the first race and wipe out the competition. If it were the first year in which they do it then maybe I would believe it, but they talk this has been the case for many years now, and then at the first race of the season I am there ahead “.
But this time there seems to be something wrong with the Mercedes, which may not be very far from Red Bull (and perhaps Ferrari as well), but it is not the car to beat right now. The Brackley-based stable, as it often did, worked on two different models, but this time around it may have been done with all of them with delays. Looking at the camera cars, more than the dry times, we noticed numerous corrections by the two drivers who had problems especially with the rear train. The key is once again the distribution of the outflow. Red Bull with genius Newey he thought of an alternative solution and could have checked mate on Mercedes, which has a different line than the Ferrarithat in the meantime the porpoisiong problem was able to solve it without losing aerodynamic load.
A real intrigue, which will be resolved shortly. Hamilton said his car is difficult to drive, but at the same time he is convinced that the problems will be solved. This will probably be the case, and if Mercedes finds the right path, maybe already in Bahrain it will be in full battle with Ferrari and Red Bull. But at the moment it is not possible to understand if the difficulties are real and there is the usual bluff late winter.