Mercedes will fight Ferrari and Red Bull in 2023

Mercedes' run of winning the Constructors' Championship eight-years in a row will end this season.

2022 has arguably been Mercedes’ most challenging season since the start of the hybrid era, where the German side have fallen off the top step which they’ve held for so long.

After failing to design a suitable car for the new aerodynamic regulations, the reigning Constructors’ Champions have seen themselves fall from the top dog to the third best side, behind both Red Bull and Ferrari.

Whilst the Austrians have escaped to an almost uncatchable lead, Mercedes are within touching distance of the Scuderia for second in the standings.

Second place would be some form of consolation for the Germans, who have been playing catch-up all year.

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The team quickly fell behind the Italians and the Austrians in regard to performance and development, due to having to prioritise fixing their porpoising problem.

Mercedes’ revolutionary ‘zeropod’ side-pods are undoubtedly an incredible engineering achievement, given how much air is needed to pass through the power unit to ensure it remains cool; however, it was the leading cause of the W13’s bouncing problem.

With more air flowing over the car rather than through, the extra forces going against the vehicle resulted in it being pushed against the circuit, resulting in the air under the floor sucking it down against the circuit, creating the bouncing effect.

The porpoising was so aggressive that Sir Lewis Hamilton suffered from extreme spinal pain at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where he was seen struggling to climb out of his W13 post-race.

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To give Mercedes credit, they have come a long way since.

The team claimed their first pole position of the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix thanks to George Russell and have achieved a total of 13 podiums between the two drivers.

A win still eludes the team, though, something Mercedes only have six more opportunities to achieve.

Should they fail to win a race this season, then it will mark the end of their streak of having won a race every season since 2012.

Hamilton’s own personal record dates even further back, with the seven-time World Champion having claimed a win in every season he’s competed in F1, a record that dates back to 2007.

Former McLaren employee Marc Priestley, who worked with Hamilton at the Woking-based outfit, is confident that the Silver Arrows will return to winning ways with the team having the “right people” to turn things around.

“If you can improve by 1% over what you did yesterday, that gradually moves you forward,” Priestley told the Pitlane Life Lessons podcast.

“I think that’s what Mercedes has been really impressive with this year.

“Because to win a World Championship is an indescribably difficult thing to do, you need so many elements to be perfect to make it happen. It’s like the ingredients of a cake.

“If you’ve got nine out of 10, you’re going to get an average cake, it’s not going to taste quite right or it won’t rise, you need all 10.

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“And over the last seven years or so, I think Mercedes and Lewis have pretty much had all 10 – they’ve got everything right, they’ve got the whole package. And that’s why they’ve been so dominant. This year, they’ve still got nine out of 10, but the car hasn’t quite been right.

“They’ve still got the right team, the right people, the resources in the right place, the right team culture, they’ve got the right attitude, all of those things are still there that made them champions for seven years on the trot.

“And I think just the fact they didn’t quite get the car right with this changing set of regulations. Yes, it means they’re not at the very top, but because everything else is there, they’ll get there.”