Mercedes’ Formula 1 team is facing a daunting challenge as they try to regain their place at the top of the sport after a slow start to the season. The team has started a redesign process of their car as they aim to close the gap with Red Bull, who have been dominant in the first two races of the season. However, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has warned that it could take the rest of the year for the team to catch up.
Speaking ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Hamilton said, “It is going to take us the rest of the year to potentially close that gap.” His teammate George Russell added, “We recognise Red Bull are a second down the road at the moment.”
Hamilton also spoke about his struggles with the Mercedes car, revealing that he feels uncomfortable with the positioning of the cockpit. He explained that the cockpit is too close to the front wheels, which makes it harder to predict the car’s movements. Hamilton said, “It is just something I have really struggled with.”
The seven-time world champion also expanded on comments he made after the first race of the season, in which he said the engineers “didn’t listen” to him with regard to the design of this year’s car. Hamilton said, “Had I known the feeling I would have in it, it wouldn’t have happened. And it has to change for the future – 100%.”
Mercedes have been the dominant force in Formula 1 over the last seven years, winning the constructors’ championship every year since 2014. However, Red Bull’s strong start to the season has put them on the back foot, and the team will need to make significant improvements if they are to challenge for the title again.
Despite the challenges, Hamilton remains optimistic about Mercedes’ chances. He said, “We just have to make sure when we do make the change, hopefully the drop isn’t too far, and hopefully it is going to take us the rest of the year for sure to potentially close that gap.” The team will be hoping that their redesign process will pay off and that they can regain their place at the top of the sport.