Team Mercedes has revealed that they are still skeptical about their chances of winning a title this season. This is coming after the dismal season they had in 2022, where they finished third on the constructor’s standings, ending an eight-year winning run. In 2022, Mercedes won only one race, and their best driver, George Russell, who joined in 2022, finished fourth place at the end of the season.
The problem with F1 last season was largely due to their car. It was first mentioned by Lewis Hamilton before the season officially started, but it was not until towards the end of the season that the team made some progress.
Now, with just weeks to the start of the new season, Mercedes is still not trying to get their hopes up about being title contenders this year. This was revealed by technical director Mike Elliott in a season review with team boss Toto Wolff and powertrains chief Hywel Thomas.
Elliott said: “I think the interesting thing is how we move forward from here. I think we’ve got to maintain that skepticism and be honest with ourselves that we were behind at the end of the year.
“And while I think that we’ve made good progress through the year, and I am really pleased with the culture I have seen and the attitude, we will only see the return on that [this] year.”
Wolff also commented on the previous season, which he did not sound too displeased about. He mentioned that “planning is not about the short-term; it’s not about a race, even a season or two or five.” He further said: “It’s about how I would like this team to constantly develop to be chasing for race victories and championships every single year but not taking it for granted, not having any sense of entitlement, and if I hear us talking, it almost sounds like the complete disaster of all seasons… it felt like it, and I think this is the right feeling.
“But we finished third in the Constructors’ Championship, and we were very close to Ferrari, we won a race, and we had 10 plus podiums. Whatever happens at the beginning of next season, it’s going to be another building block for the success of this team.”
The new season starts in March, and Mercedes, like other teams, have between now and then to make sure that their car is ready for the new season. We would have to wait till the pre-season testing, which starts on February 23.