MERCEDES have struggled during the early stages of the new F1 season.
The head of the Mercedes James Vowles strategy confirmed that the silver arrow had worked hard behind the scenes for “advancing the car to the championship winner.” And his comments will be music in Lewis Hamilton’s ears and George Russell after the initial struggle of their season.
The F1 team redesign their car in front of the new season in the middle of a number of changes in regulations. But Mercedes has struggled with porpoising problems and failed to dominate the races as they had done in previous years.
Russell was second in the driver’s championship this year but the leader Trails Charles Leclerc was 34 points, while Hamilton who was in fifth position had fallen 43 points behind Monegasque. And silver arrows are 39 adrift of Ferrari at the constructor championship.
F1 season continued on Imola Track in Italy this weekend. And Vowles said the back room team had done everything they could to ensure Mercedes could improve their early season’s performance.
“Often people see a racing team on TV and think it is the whole team,” Vowles told The Mercedes Youtube Channel. “This isn’t. We are lucky to have a base in Brackley and in Brixworth, with hundreds of people working every hour that maybe they can to make this racing car fast, competitive, and winners of the championship.
“The work that took place among the race was very large. There are component changes, there is an increase, there is an understanding of the problems we have and how we advance performance.
“When we return to Europe’s season, the team generally will bring more performance improvements. So I suspect you will see the evolution of our competitors and we need to make sure we, at least, follow that.
“The work that occurs now is a review of what is happening in Melbourne and understanding of what we need to do in the future to Imola, and advance the car to become the winner of the championship.”
Imola Grand Prix is the first of three sprint events this season after F1 tests last year’s format. And, regardless of his optimization of Mercedes cars, Vowles claimed to be a difficult weekend for his team.
“Imola will be a challenging event – this is our first sprint race this season,” Vowles added. “So it’s not like the previous event, where we already have FP1, FP2 and FP3 are really to understand the car and test how we will improve the performance of the car, we now only have one free training session. And the free training session dominates what happens in qualifications and in the race. So it is very limited in what we can learn and what we can do. ”