At the start of 2022, a new era of Formula 1 began, with the regulations in the sport undergoing some major changes.
These changes sent engineers and designers up and down the paddock back to the drawing board, with some teams getting their car development spot on, while others struggled.
Once Red Bull managed to reduce the weight of the RB-18 they were unstoppable, with Max Verstappen winning a record breaking 15 races on the way to his second consecutive world championship title.
While Verstappen’s dominance meant that he clearly deserved the title, the margin of his victory was also a result of the other team’s struggles, with Mercedes and Ferrari never quite getting up to speed.
Mercedes’ W13 was slow and harboured a major porpoising problem while Ferrari’s reliability and strategy ended up being their downfall.
Former F1 driver Gerhard Berger has admitted that he was disappointed by the first year of F1’s new era, with the season being relatively boring due to Red Bull’s dominance.
“It was quite surprising that Formula 1 advertised so much for a relatively weak show,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.
“While I’m happy for Verstappen, his dominance has also resulted in a lot of boring races. You always hope for three or four teams that can fight for the win.
“I do expect Mercedes to make a comeback this season. They took an aggressive approach to 2022 and it didn’t quite work out. Which happens.
“But they now know where the problems lie and they can tackle them to play a role in the championship again.”
Mercedes have not been shy to admit that they got the physics surrounding the new regulations completely wrong, meaning that they know what they need to do to become competitive once again this season.
With the impressive driver lineup of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, a competitive W14 should be enough for the Silver Arrows to become one of the favourites for the championship once again this year.
The team will be hoping that they can build on their strong end to 2022, where upgrades brought to the US Grand Prix in Austin saw the team become competitive for the first time all season, even picking up a win in Brazil.