Toto Wolff suggested that Mercedes might revert to their old plans after the struggles of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at the Miami Grand Prix last weekend
Toto Wolff, the principal of Mercedes Team, admitted that the Silver Arrows could go back to older designs after technical problems continue disrupting Lewis Hamilton’s and George Russell’s 2022 races.
Octuple world champions have experienced severe porpoising and their cars have been bouncing around uncontrollably. Mercedes’ early rounds of 2022 have seen porpoising problems. Neither Hamilton nor Russell were able compete with Red Bull or Ferrari.
Mercedes thought they had overcome their problems before the Miami Grand Prix. Russell impressed during practice in Florida. The unpredictable nature of the car proved to be a problem as Mercedes failed to keep up with the other drivers, who lamented the poor performance and Max Verstappen won the chequered flag.
Russell came fifth, Hamilton was sixth, which is a great result. However, the car’s persistent porpoising was evident once more. The car bounced up-and-down at will. There was no improvement in the Mercedes upgrades prior to the Miami race.
When asked about Mercedes’ next steps and whether they could return to the car concept used in Barcelona testing, Wolff admitted such a prospect is an option. Sky Sports spoke to Wolff, who said: “I wouldn’t discount anything. But we need to give all of our people that have produced great race cars in the past the benefit of the doubt and we believe this is the route to go.
“We need to find out how we can make the current car work predictably for the drivers. We are faithful to the current concept. We’re not looking at the lady next door if we like it more or not, because it’s still good.
“We need to understand, before we make a decision on another concept – where did this one go wrong? And what is the goodness of the concept and what is the badness of the concept?”
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It’s hardly been a dream campaign for Hamilton, whose hopes of securing a historic eighth world championship are fading fast. The Brit, who is level with Michael Schumacher on seven titles, finds himself in sixth in the Drivers’ Standings – almost 70 points behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc – following disappointing P10 and P13 finishes in Saudi Arabia and Imola.
Russell, however has performed slightly better than his iconic partner. Russell secured top five finishes at each of the five first races of the 2022 Season to move him 23 points clear over Hamilton. Russell is actually the only driver to finish in the top five of each race this season.
F1 2022’s 22-race campaign continues with the Spanish Grand Prix of Barcelona on May 22.