Mercedes have used the last of two allocated filming days to test upgrades to their car seeking to reverse their slide down the Formula 1 pecking order, ahead of the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.
The reigning F1 constructors’ world champions are enduring the worst start to a season in a decade, the 2022 Mercedes is a shocker of a car that has forced the once mightiest team to find a solution that will give Lewis Hamilton and George Russell a decent piece of kit for the rest of the season.
So bad is their form that Bet with Betwinner do not fancy them to win any time soon as the odds are stacked against them as they fail to understand the Mercedes W13 and toil in the midpack.
Multiple reports claim that the ‘secret’ test of a significantly revamped W13 which suffered from just about every malady seen on the grid, compounded into one car, not helped by the worst ‘porpoising’ since the phenomenon broke cover this year and became the F1 paddock buzzword.
Behind closed doors and security, using their second and final ‘filming day’ allocation of the season at Paul Ricard in southern France, with Russell breaking in the updated car.
Seldom in F1 history has such a dominant team ‘switched off’ between seasons as Mercedes have, ironically the same team that caught every rival flat-footed at the start of the hybrid-turbo era, has bombed dramatically in this new era of aero efficiency.
Remarkably Hamilton has won a Grand Prix in every season he has raced since 2007, this year it would take major force majeure (or they discover the ‘magic button’ with this upgrade) that he will win a race in 2022, and forget about an eighth F1 drivers’ title this season.
For Mercedes, some believe the solution may well be reverting to the Barcelona test car, which topped the timing screens at the end of the first F1 test of 2022 in Spain, before they released the awkward radical version that has done them no favours at all.
But the photo released on Twitter of Russell leaving the Paul Ricard pits indicates they are persevering with the second W13 version.
As it stands, Russell has managed problematic car better than Hamilton as the drivers’ championship standings testify ahead of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, the younger driver is fourth on 59 points while the older is sixth, 23 shy of his teammate after six rounds.
Filming Day = ✅ Straight on the ✈️ to Barcelona. 💪 pic.twitter.com/30tVz2MvVt
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) May 18, 2022