Mercedes have used the two-week break to prepare for the final six-race run-in to the end of the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship season, with team boss Toto Wolff hoping the hard work will pay off.
Well… sort of pay off, because they won’t be F1 champions for a ninth-year running. That incredible stint will end this season, Red Bull are set to claim their first F1 constructors’ title since 2013 while Mercedes are ‘only’ in a ding-dong battle for second place with Ferrari; the Silver Arrows trail the Reds by 35 points.
With all but certain that Max Verstappen and Red Bull will triumph on both fronts; the next prize, for second place, being the extra prize money and, of course, salvaging something of their respective seasons and thus all to play for between the ‘second bests’ of the season.
Previewing this weekend’s 2022 Singapore Grand Prix, Wolff said: “While we’ve had a longer break than usual from the racing action, the factories have been busy preparing for this season’s final push. Let’s see where that hard work leads us.
“Since the start of the year, we’ve been making good progress and it’s been a strong recovery from the team. We need to keep the momentum going, keep learning and extract the maximum we can from every opportunity.”
Will Mercedes win a race this year with the W13?
Relative to its fine predecessors the 2022 car they produced has flopped – they never know when it will be fast or not, more like the latter – notably the Mercedes W13 has yet to win a race this season, which is set to blemish Lewis Hamilton’s impeccable record of winning a Grand Prix every year since he made his debut back in 2007.
Maybe that remarkable record will continue with a victory this Sunday?
Requiring 91 gearshifts per lap more than any other track including Monaco, Marina Bay Circuit has been a happy hunting ground for Mercedes in the past, with Hamilton winning on four occasions under the iconic sparkling floodlights, with Nico Rosberg victorious in 2016.
With Round 16 in mind, Wolff continued: “It’s great to be back in Singapore for the first time since 2019. The whole weekend is so unique; remaining on the European schedule, the climate and the track layout. Some aspects of the circuit should suit our car better than some of the recent circuits – but other aspects, like the bumpy surface, might prove challenging. We’ll know for sure when we hit the track on Friday.
“Before heading to Singapore, we visited our title partner Petronas to announce the extension of our partnership from 2026 onwards. Our commitment to sustainable projects both on and off track in the years to come is a landmark moment for us and strengthens our already close collaboration,” concluded the Mercedes team boss.