‘Not any disrespect’: Mercedes make their intentions clear

Mercedes are 35 points behind Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship.

Mercedes’ search for their first victory in 2022 continues, after George Russell missed out on the top step of the podium at the Italian Grand Prix.

Should the Silver Arrows fail to win a single race this season, then it would end their streak of having won at least once every year since 2011.

In all honesty, it looks increasingly likely that this streak will end, with the Dutch Grand Prix having been by far the closest Mercedes has come to victory.

Red Bull and Max Verstappen have run away with both championships this season, leaving Ferrari and Mercedes to battle it out for second in the Constructors’ Championship.

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Whilst second place won’t please the defending eight-time Constructors’ Champions, it’s the least they’ll settle for.

To do that, though, they need to claw back a 35-point deficit to the Scuderia, who do have a faster car this season but are considerably less reliable and usually flawed strategically.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes second place might “soften the blow” of losing their title, as the Austrian laid down the challenge to Ferrari.

“We just need to do the best every single weekend and see whether we come out second,” said the Austrian.

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“Maybe [it would soften the blow] a bit, but there [are] more blows that we are ending up 30 seconds behind the leader, and that is the gap that we need to catch up.”

The Silver Arrows have come a long way in 2022, given just how far off the pace they were at the start of the season.

The team still struggle at low downforce circuits, with the team having gone considerably better at high downforce venues like Zandvoort.

Claiming a win this season would be a huge relief for Mercedes, as they continue to target a return to the top.

“We want to try and fight Ferrari for that P2 position, we want to try and win a race this season or multiple races ideally but most of all we want to get ourselves back on track so we are fighting properly for a championship next year,” said the team’s technical director Mike Elliott.

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“That’s not any disrespect to our opposition – we’ve got fantastic opposition – but that’s what we really need to do because we want to be back there, we want to be challenging for championships because that’s what we are about.

“I think we’ve had some good races and we’ve had some not so good races, but I think what’s really encouraging for me is that the understanding that is coming from the simulation work we do and the understanding that is coming from the wind tunnel.

“It is allowing us to work out why our performance is going up and down, what we need to do to get back into the fight right at the front and what we need to do over the winter.

“I think that are the key things. What we need to do over the next six races of the season is we just need to do what we always do which is race as best we can.”