‘Not just a blip’: Toto Wolff makes admission about struggles as Lewis Hamilton to sign contract

Mercedes only picked up one race win in 2022, coming in Brazil courtesy of George Russell.

Having dominated the previous eight constructors’ championships it seemed almost unthinkable that Mercedes would enter the new era of Formula 1 uncompetitive.

Unfortunately for the Silver Arrows this is exactly what happened however, with the team struggling to figure out how to get the best performance out of the new set of regulations that were introduced at the start of the season.

The W13 was one of the cars which struggled massively with a porpoising issues, with Mercedes aerodynamic design and ride hight causing a violent bouncing that was causing a lot of pain to both of their drivers.

It took the team half of the season combined with an intervention from the FIA to stop the porpoising and only then did Mercedes become competitive, eventually winning a Grand Prix in Brazil as George Russell got his first taste of victory.

READ: Lewis Hamilton makes excuse for being slower than George Russell

Team principal Toto Wolff has reflected on 2022 at the turn of the year, suggesting that it was not easy to keep motivated as the team kept running into fresh stumbling blocks.

“It was a tough season because we saw right from the start that the car was not competitive,” said the Austrian.

“Here it wasn’t about one race. It was one of many. We saw that we really don’t understand where the other’s performance comes from.

“And then slowly but surely, we got on top of it and we had another setback, and we understood that better, and then another setback. That’s why it was so painful because it was not just a blip.

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“It wasn’t just one race which we knew from the last season how that could be. So, keeping the motivation and the energy together over the whole season was not trivial.”

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Mercedes are confident of a return to the top in 2023 and using last year as a learning curve, as the team have already fired a warning to their rivals, showing on social media that they have already started up the W14 for the first time.

After bringing major upgrades to the United States Grand Prix in Austin towards the latter end of the season, the W13 did become competitive enough to win races, meaning that the Silver Arrows will not be starting from square one when designing this year’s competitor.

Lewis Hamilton is set to sign a contract extension in the coming weeks, meaning that everything with the team will remain unchanged as they hunt for quick return to form in 2023.