F1, Mercedes in crisis? The explanation must be sought in Red Bull

Mercedes has plunged into an unprecedented crisis in the hybrid era of F1. At Red Bull, however, they celebrate a top car and mock the Teutonic team.

After many monotonous years, in 2021, Formula 1 found a spectacular summit duel. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton battled each other on all stages of the calendar, alternating on the top step of the podium. The challenge was ignited in the season finale with the Abu Dhabi epilogue. The Dutch driver took away the satisfaction of becoming world champion with an overtaking on the last lap on the Anglo-Caribbean champion.

F1 Mercedes and Red Bull (ANSA)

2021 represented a no holds barred battle between two top teams. Mercedes and Red Bull Racing fought for the constructors’ title until the last Grand Prix. Brackley’s team has been confirmed as world champion, for the eighth year in a row. A century seems to have passed since the challenges of the last year. F1 changed face with the launch of ground effect cars. The goal of the top management of Liberty Media was to have closer battles between multiple teams, but no one could imagine the collapse of the three-pointed star.

In the hybrid era, the Teutonic team had hoarded world titles. The 2022 project has proved to be a total failure so far. The car suffers from the porpoising phenomenon. The constant hopping on the straight of the W13 are compromising performance by Lewis Hamilton and young teammate George Russell. It is an oscillatory movement that is evident, observing the W13 in a straight line. All of this results in a sudden loss of downforce which leads to hopping and loss of performance.

F1, Red Bull behind the Mercedes crisis

Furthermore, the ground-effect car did not give the seven-time world champion a positive feeling. It was defined in the Paddock as the “car without bellies”, but the extreme innovation did not give the desired results. Lewis Hamilton has clamored for an effort from the technicians to bring Mercedes back to the position it had occupied for eight years in a row. Lewis Hamilton is in obvious difficulties, certified by the bad qualification in the Jeddah Grand Prix and the tenth place finish.

The third place in Bahrain was very lucky, born from the double retirement of Red Bull Racing in the final laps. At the moment the ranking shows Mercedes in second place, 40 points behind Ferrari and one point more on Red Bull Racing, but never was he more a liar. In terms of performance, the F1-75 and RB18 are the only cars capable of challenging each other for the first step of the podium. From an engine point of view, the Mercedes’ step backwards is worrying.

The crisis is clear and does not concern only the W13; to date, all Mercedes-powered teams have ended up at the bottom of the grid. Williams and Aston Martin are still on zero points and McLaren, compared to 2021, are experiencing a nightmare. Arriving on the eve of the third race of the World Championship (with Ferrari ready to do battle) in Melbourne, Mercedes will have to show improvements. The Power Unit no longer seems the same and the explanation was given by Helmut Marko, director of Red Bull Racing, who from this year can rely on 50 key men who worked in the German team.

In an interview with Formel1.de, the Austrian from Red Bull announced: “Our advantage is that we have a very versatile team: Honda people were hired to work on our project (Red Bull Power Train), part of the Red Bull staff was moved (to the new facility), and Mercedes experts. I don’t have detailed knowledge of the situation in Mercedes, but those problems must have to do with the new fuel. AND it would also be normal if it were due to all the people who left therefirst Andy Cowell (the chief engineer, now in another job position) and then another 50 very good employees“.

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