Mercedes Looks 'Brutal' To Drive According To F1 World Champion

Wednesday, 03 April 2024 at 20:00
russell george mercedes car jirikrenek11
Damon Hill, the 1996 Formula 1 World Champion, called Mercedes's car "brutal to drive" from observations made during the first three races of the season.
Mercedes, which currently stands fourth in the Championship (two positions lower compared to last year's result) and only one point ahead of Aston Martin in fifth place, is clearly struggling.
The German team introduced a revolutionary car design ahead of the 2024 season, following Toto Wolff's words that they were going to change everything.
However, while Silver Arrows changed everything that is visible to the eye, it seems the team keeps suffering from the same issue and just can't make their cars work. Damon Hill said on the F1 Nation podcast:"

"Toto has agreed with this argument that they actually are scratching their head and then, before Melbourne, I think he was saying they haven't taken a stupid pill or something like that."

"He's actually sort of saying, 'Well, if anyone's got any good ideas, then come and talk to me! I mean, that's the state of play there at Mercedes, isn't it?"

The team principal of Silver Arrows admitted after the second race of the season that their simulations do not match the on-track data collected in real-time.
This basically means that the team now can't predict how their car will perform with changes in setup, different tires, or track conditions.
It seems to perform very differently when the temperature changes by a mere 5 degrees, as Wolff described after the Australian Grand Prix. The problem is that Mercedes doesn't understand why. Hill continued:

"They are missing a trick, they've been given three goals at this and they still haven't quite worked something out. The car looks brutal to drive, it looks always on the edge."

"When they try and get performance out of it, it gets very bouncy and very harsh."

It's baffling for most people how a team that won eight Championships in a row can hit a wall suddenly like Mercedes did in 2022 and then struggle to recover for the next three years. The former F1 driver added:

"There's something they're not quite getting. But, as Toto said himself, 'I can't fire myself; I'm part owner of the team.'"

"So he understands the situation. But it is sticky there, because Lewis has decided to get out of there and take his chances elsewhere, it's not exactly a huge vote of confidence in the direction of travel for Mercedes."