Mercedes has had yet another disappointing start to the campaign following last year’s diva W13.
This year’s edition, the W14, was expected to be a major improvement, but Toto Wolff admitted that his team got its design concept wrong, with rumours of a Plan B car also in the works.
As of now, it appears like the W14 is the fourth-quickest car on the grid, with Aston Martin joining Red Bull and Ferrari in the top 3 performers in terms of speed.
Mercedes has itself admitted to getting its car wrong in 2023, with an open letter addressed to fans expressing the team’s troubles.
“The situation we face right now isn’t one that any of us wanted – but it’s the one we have. That’s the reality of it,” Mercedes stated on its official website.
Wolff himself is pretty hopeful that Mercedes can turn things around fast. The Austrian took solace in Aston Martin’s remarkable speed in Bahrain. The Lawrence Stroll-backed team does, after all, use plenty of components designed by Mercedes.
Aston Martin could soon get priority over Mercedes
A B-spec car is expected to soon be launched by Mercedes which should be a significant improvement on the existing W14.
However, a situation has now emerged where Mercedes needs to sort its mess out fast (before the fourth race of the season in Azerbaijan).
If the team fails to produce a winning car soon enough, it is reported that the bigwigs at Mercedes-Benz will begin to give preferential treatment in powertrains to Aston Martin, a team they have 20% stake in.
The order of best power units will then go to Aston Martin first, Mercedes’ own F1 team next and Williams last.
This would undoubtedly be the best case scenario for Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso, who has already shown terrific control this year, finishing on the podium in Bahrain.
Lewis Hamilton’s plan was ignored by Mercedes
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is nearing the end of his illustrious career and it is no secret that he is hunting down an elusive eighth world championship.
The Stevenage-born star even suggested that he had already advised Mercedes on the best possible course with regard to its car design, but the team did not follow his plan.
“Last year, I told them (about) the issues that are with the car. I’ve driven so many cars in my life, so I know what a car needs; I know what a car doesn’t need,” Hamilton said.
“And I think it’s really about accountability. It’s about owning up and saying, ‘yeah, you know what, we didn’t listen to you, it’s not where it needs to be, and we’ve got to work’.”