Lewis Hamilton warned of upcoming Mercedes struggles

Mercedes are attempting to get back amongst the title fight in 2023, after a hugely unsuccessful 2022 campaign.

1996 Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill has predicted that Mercedes will face more of an “uphill struggle” in 2023 than Ferrari, with the Silver Arrows having “misunderstood” their 2022 challenger.

2022 was woeful for Mercedes, with the Germans having had a car which was mostly unable to challenge either Red Bull or Ferrari, at least not until the end of the season.

The Brackley-based team endured several issues with their W13, meaning that their 2023 challenger will be drastically different underneath, according to team principal Toto Wolff.

Ferrari, on the other hand, started 2022 exceptionally, before in-house issues let the side down.

READ: Defiant Sebastian Vettel insists his ‘views won’t be retired’

With this in mind, Ferrari have less to work on, according to Hill, who expects them to be in a strong place come the start of the new season.

“[Ferrari] have got less to do than Mercedes have,” Hill told Sky Sports F1.

“Mercedes have come out with a car that clearly they’ve misunderstood something and they’re going to have to reset, whereas Ferrari came out with a car that was pretty good to start with.

“They didn’t capitalise through the season, and so they’ve got less, I think, of an uphill struggle for next year than Mercedes have.”

Article continues below

Ferrari are supposedly “very happy” with their 2023 car, according to new McLaren boss Andrea Stella, with the Maranello-based outfit having worked tirelessly on fixing their power unit’s reliability issues.

In doing so, the Italians have found an extra 30hp, something which will massively benefit them this year.

With this in mind, Stella is certain that Ferrari will “definitely” start the season strong, whilst he also expects a “big reaction” from Mercedes.

“I expect a big reaction from Mercedes, even though I know that at Ferrari they are very happy with the new car and so they will definitely have a competitive start,” Stella said.

Red Bull chief technology officer Adrian Newey is also expecting Ferrari to be very strong in 2023, with the iconic engineer certain that the Italians will be “right back”.

Newey is also expecting Mercedes to be “right there” with Red Bull and Ferrari, hinting that this year could be a sensational one for Formula 1.

READ: Toto Wolff reacts to Christian Horner’s 2023 copying concern

“Ferrari won’t be resting, they’ll be sorting out their weak areas,” Newey stated.

“They had a couple of reliability problems. They made a couple of pit wall mistakes. So they’ll be right back.

“And then of course, you saw Mercedes starting with a car that was quite a long way off the pace, and evolving it to the point that it won the last race but one. You know they will be right there. So it’s going to be a tough year, for sure.”