Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, believes that a single win this season is worth more than taking P2 in the Constructors’ Championship from Ferrari. Why? For Wolff, it’s because a “win would prove that our car is back in the fight for wins.”
Mercedes have steadily closed the gap between themselves and Ferrari to just 40 points, which is a testament to Mercedes’ ability to persevere through a difficult season. Violent porpoising issues persisted which then revealed a drag effect that made their competitiveness inconsistent, but despite that, as Wolff points out, Mercedes taking P2 could imply that Ferrari simply dropped the ball rather than Mercedes making a large statement.
Because of the drag effect on the W13, certain tracks are far more suited to it, including the Mexican Grand Prix. When Wolff was asked if this was Mercedes’ best chance of winning this year, he said, “On the simulations, it says yes [this was our best chance to win this year], but we see the tendency that we are able to compete and I’m really proud of the team with what we did this weekend.”
“We experimented with a lot of things,” Wolff continued. “The engine guys pushed the boundaries to really give us maximum performance so I think it will be a mix between trying to maximise [this year] and trying the most for next year.
“I am never confident, I always see the glass half empty, so there is nothing really to see that’s positive. There’s no reason to be overwhelmed finishing second and fourth, but we have a long way to catch up.
“We have the winter and I think we’re doing some good development on the car and some of the biggest steps might be more than just adding a few points of downforce. We’re giving it whatever we have and more in order to bring us back in a position to fight for a championship.”
While Mercedes is doing absolutely everything they can to get back to winning races, but others on the grid aren’t remaining stagnant. Ferrari have essentially paused development on the 2022 car to focus completely on 2023 applying everything they’ve learnt in a mistake ridden season. Best case scenario for Mercedes is if Red Bull take a step backwards due to their cost cap punishment of reduced wind tunnel time and how much that affects them.
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