Mercedes Didn't Have Faster Car Than Ferrari And Mclaren In 2023 Says Chandhok

Friday, 29 March 2024 at 07:30
Updated at Friday, 29 March 2024 at 07:32
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eFormer F1 driver Karun Chandhok said Mercedes didn't finish second in the 2023 Championship due to the speed of their cars but because of their drivers and fewer mistakes.
Mercedes isn't at all satisfied with the start of the season so far. Lewis Hamilton said that after the Australian Grand Prix, it was "the worst" start he had ever had.
Toto Wolff also stated he wanted to "punch" himself "on the nose" after the third race weekend at Albert Park Circuit that ended with a double DNF for Mercedes.
The German team scored zero points in Australia and currently stands fourth in the Championship, just one point ahead of Aston Martin in fifth place and 71 points behind Red Bull in P1. As quoted by Sky Sports, Karun Chandhok said:

"The DNFs are bad but just in terms of their pace they will be hugely disappointed. At no point did they look like being a close challenger to Ferrari or Mercedes in the race."

Mercedes did seem to match the speeds of Ferrari and Red Bull in the FP3 session, but as soon as qualifying started, Silver Arrows were nowhere near the top three teams.

"For a team that finished second in the championship last year, it's looking tricky for them to repeat that this year."

"Despite the fact Mercedes were second in the constructors' championship last year, it was Ferrari who had the quicker car towards the end of last season and McLaren too."

The 2023 battle for second place in the Championship came down to the final race in Abu Dhabi, after which Mercedes snatched the top position from the Maranello team by a mere three points.
However, Chandhok reckons it wasn't because of their car's speed but rather their driver duo, reliability, and fewer mistakes.

"Mercedes had good drivers and were able to have less mistakes and reliability, that's how they got second. It wasn't on speed."