Smedley at odds with Hamilton on Mercedes ‘development curve’

Mercedes have fallen behind Red Bull and Ferrari this season.

Sir Lewis Hamilton has said he is not confident that Mercedes will be able to turn their fortunes around quickly, after having a disappointing start to 2022.

However, F1’s technical consultant, Rob Smedley, holds a different view of the situation.

While Mercedes achieved an unexpected podium finish in Bahrain, the team was brought back down to earth in Saudi Arabia as Hamilton struggled all weekend.

The seven-time world champion failed to get out of Q1 before finishing P10 in the race.

George Russell has been more consistent over both races, finishing fourth and fifth respectively. But Mercedes is currently trailing both Red Bull and Ferrari heading into the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.

Both drivers have aired their concerns on how long it will take the team to catch up to those at the front, with Hamilton stating that he doesn’t think Mercedes will be fighting for race wins until May at the earliest.

However, Smedley doesn’t think it will be long until Mercedes finds the right set-up and upgrades for its W13.

READ: Who’s the heaviest of them all? Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari car weights revealed

“Mercedes would be the first to admit that they haven’t got it right,“ Smedley said.

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“Ferrari have done a really good job in moving up and being right there with Red Bull.

“But I would expect that to change now more than any other year as people find big chunks of performance in lots of different areas.”

Continuing, the former Ferrari and Williams race engineer reiterated that he is expecting a “very, very strong development curve” in 2022 due to the all-new technical regulations.

“The development phase of the car is at such an immature stage, the cars will change significantly from the first race to the final race.

“There’s going to be a very, very strong development curve on those cars.”