Mercedes hand Lewis Hamilton and George Russell a boost for 2023

Lewis Hamilton went winless for the first time in his career in 2022, such was the competitiveness of the W13.

Never in Red Bull’s wildest dreams would they have thought that they would not only win the 2022 constructors’ championship, bringing Mercedes’ eight-year reign to an end, but they would beat the Silver Arrows by a stunning 244 points.

It seemed in pre-season testing that Mercedes had chosen to go down a different development path to the majority of the other teams under the new regulations, sporting radical sidepod designs during tests in Bahrain.

As it turns out, Mercedes’ development pathway was the wrong one, as not only were the team slower than their rivals at the start of the season, they were also forced to battle a severe porpoising issue that was causing both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell a lot of discomfort.

Solving the issue cost the team half a seasons’ worth of development according to Toto Wolff, hence why the team only became competitive in the latter stages of the season, following upgrades brought to the Grand Prix in Austin.

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Lewis Hamilton is set to sign a multi-year contract extension over the summer and could be in for good news with regards to his chances of winning a record breaking eighth world championship, as chief strategist James Vowles has commented on the team’s chances of getting back to winning ways in 2023.

“I think just looking around the factory, you can just see everyone is incredibly motivated by what happened last year and more importantly by wanting to get back onto that top step and consistently showing the world and other teams that we know how to win,” said Vowles.

“We want to be back there, and we have an opportunity to get back there across the winter.

“You have a number of teams that are doing what we’re doing, which is very single day scraping for a minute, a millisecond or more.

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“But the reality is that we’re in a strong position here in terms of learning that we can build on from last year and everything I see around is just everyone wanting to win and doing everything they can across the winter do to so.”

When asked if Mercedes may be uncompetitive for a number of seasons to come, team principal Toto Wolff suggested that the continuity in the team with the same bosses, drivers and finances should prevent Mercedes from a spell in the shadows.

With Red Bull feeling the effects of their cost cap breach penalty and Ferrari adapting to new management, there may be no better opportunity for Mercedes to right the wrongs of 2022 than next season.