2022 has been a season that Mercedes will be grateful to see the back of, with the Germans losing their constructors’ crown, which they’ve retained for eight consecutive seasons.
After the agony the team and Sir Lewis Hamilton faced at the 2021 season finale, many had Mercedes down as favourites to reclaim the title this season, with the British driver appearing to be “fired up”.
In all honesty, this season couldn’t have gone any worse, with the Silver Arrows being miles off Red Bull’s pace and only just in the fight with Ferrari for second in the standings.
The W13 has been the German’s worst car of the hybrid era by far, with the team still yet to claim a race victory.
Should they fail to win one of the remaining six races, then it would mark the end of a record that dates back to 2012.
The Brackley-based team has won at least one race every year since 2012, which came thanks to Nico Rosberg at the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix.
That win in 2012 was the outfit’s first since 1955, and they have only gone from strength to strength ever since.
This season has been a different story, as Mercedes arguably designed a car that wasn’t suited to the new aerodynamic regulations.
Their revolutionary sidepod design, dubbed the ‘zero sidepod’, has caused the team a shocking porpoising issue.
This issue saw Hamilton suffer from excruciating spinal pain earlier in the year at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where he physically struggled to climb out of his car post-race.
Since then, the team has ironed out a number of their issues; however, they will still have to relinquish their Constructors’ title to the dominant Red Bull.
Hamilton, who is currently sixth in the Drivers’ Championship, has admitted he “definitely won’t miss” this season’s diva of a car.
“It’s a car we continue to struggle with and definitely won’t miss it at the end of the year,” said the Mercedes driver.
“For me, it’s just focusing on how we build and design next year’s car.”
Mercedes’ shocking season has resulted in ex-F1 drivers, Johnny Herbert, and Anthony Davidson’s pre-season predictions to resurface.
The duo both expected Mercedes to be at the front and challenging for the title this year, with Herbert believing Mercedes prioritised this season’s woeful car during their titanic battle with the Austrians.
“I think Mercedes did so well last year because of the budget cap coming into effect, that’s really something that they didn’t spend so much [on] last year,” Herbert said to Sky Sports F1.
“I think their big upgrade was at Silverstone, Red Bull seemed to do one more or less [at] every race we went to.
“So maybe there’s going to be that, pushing that budget towards what they’re going to be using this year, and I think Mercedes, I think it could happen again for Lewis.”
Davidson’s predictions are equally amusing to look back on, with the Brit certain at the time that Hamilton would want to “disappear” into the distance.
Unfortunately for Hamilton, and Davidson’s predictions, it’s the Dutchman who has been in a different league to the rest of the grid.
“There will be nothing more that Lewis wants from this season than to destroy Max Verstappen,” Davidson also said to Sky Sports F1.
“Let’s not beat around a bush, he feels absolutely robbed as to what happened last year in Abu Dhabi, he wants to come out with a dominant car and he doesn’t even want to see Max on track, I’m sure.
“He just wants to show him a clean pair of heels, disappear off into the distance and win his eighth world championship.”