This year’s Mercedes single-seater is a big disappointment, Lewis Hamilton is looking forward to being able to forget it forever in a few weeks. In Brazil, the Mercedes W14 left both pilots of the Silver Arrows in the lurch.
The Mercedes Formula 1 team is experiencing yet another unsuccessful season in the hybrid era. While he collected one Constructors’ Cup after another between 2014 and 2021, he finished third in the team standings last year and is far from certain of second place behind Red Bull this year.
Moreover, barring a miracle in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi, it will be the first time since 2011 that the Silver Arrows have not won a single Grand Prix in a season. It was already close last year, but George Russell saved the day in Brazil. Lewis Hamilton may even be without a triumph for the second year in a row.
But it was this year’s race at the Interlagos circuit that showed just how big the problems are for Mercedes. The cars from the Brackley-based stable had a decent starting position after qualifying and the start went mainly to Hamilton, but then came the huge trouble and loss of competitiveness.
Russell did not finish the race at all, his British colleague took eighth place. Excluding the two “zero” races, Hamilton did so badly this year only at the Red Bull Ring, where he received a ten-second penalty.
“We have to quickly forget about this weekend. I feel like I saved the tires today, but there are days when the car just doesn’t work. It behaves inconsistently on the track. We lack speed on the straight and it slides in the corners,” he described his feelings about the unsuccessful Grand Prix three-time winner from Interlagos.
His boss Toto Wolff was even more critical. The pace in Sao Paulo was a huge disappointment for him after Mexico, where Hamilton battled with Max Verstappen for victory.
Fluctuations in performance are part of Formula 1, but we can’t be nearly fastest one time and finish eighth in a week. For me personally, the worst weekend in the last 13 years. It is completely incomprehensible and absolutely unacceptable for all of us in the team,” said the Mercedes boss.
Everyone at Brackley is now hard at work on the car for next season. It is everyone’s wish that it ends the 357-day long wait for a victory in Brazil on Sunday.
“Just two more races with this car and the W14 will be gone and I’ll be happy! This year you’re just counting down the days and trying to enjoy every day as much as you can,” Hamilton assessed the experience with what was probably the worst Mercedes he’s driven in his career.