IMOLA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 01: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates the 7th consecutive F1 Constructors Championship with Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 01, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Are Mercedes Back?
The eight-time world champions, Mercedes, have returned in flying form to Spain
After securing a second and third place finish in the Spanish Grand Prix, Mercedes appear arguably the second fastest team.
It should not come as a surprise that the Brackley based team have fantastic resources. However this may not always directly equate to the results the Mercedes team have become accustomed to. Coming into the 2022 season and the new regulations, they felt that the revolutionary zero-sidepods car philosophy would be the one to follow. And if being able to break through any teething issues that may appear in the early season, they would once again by the talk of the paddock.
Jumping a further 15 months into the future, and we arrive at Monaco. And after a hard fought battle, Mercedes accepted and understood their woes. Opting to bring the W14B, and with it, sidepods. After a hard fought battle, Mercedes were to secure a second and third place finish in Barcelona. It has appeared to have excited both fans and team alike. With Toto Wolff having been quoted saying:
“I think it is a new baseline. It is from where we can continue to work with a certain stability, and without needing to question certain parts of the car, whether it’s the bodywork, the floor, or the front suspension. It is now established, and this is what we are taking forward now.”
The question remains however can this form continue?
It appears as if this was not to be a one off appearance with Mercedes once again at the sharper end of the field. As between both tyre management and outright pace, there was very little the new and improved W14B had difficulty with.
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) June 4, 2023
And if this run of form continues, will we ever see Mercedes and Red Bull going toe to toe again? It seems ever more likely as each race continues on. And if this level of improvement can be sustained by not only Mercedes, but also Aston Martin. Whom have also made leaps and bounds of progress in the past year. It may not be outside of the realm of possibility to conclude that in 2024. There may be a title fight between two, possibly even three teams. The last time three or more drivers entered a final race with a realistic possibility of becoming world champion was the finale of 2010, in Abu Dhabi.
Despite perhaps a few, it is understood that many fans are happy at the return of Mercedes to the sharp end. Most seem to share the same feeling of hope. Feeling that a potential battle may begin brewing at the middle or end of this season. Which will hopefully then catapult Formula One into another title fight season like 2021.
Feature image credit: Dan Istitene
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