Toto Wolff expected Lewis Hamilton to ‘smash everybody’ after Michael Masi ‘robbery’

Mercedes finished third in the constructors’ with only one win to their name in 2022.

A lot was expected of Mercedes coming into 2022, with radical new sidepod designs on show in pre-season testing leading fans to believe that the Silver Arrows had cracked the new regulations.

As it happened the team struggled a lot with porpoisingwith their drivers experiencing serious discomfort when driving the bouncing W13 in the first half of the season.

The team already lacked the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull, so losing time in the development race while solving the porpoising problem saw them fall even further behind their rivals.

The team only managed one win all season, coming as part of a stunning one-two finish in Brazil earlier this month, but team principal Toto Wolff has claimed that the heartbreak of 2021 felt a lot worse that their failures this year.

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“Last year was much worse,” suggested the Austrian.

“Last year it was taken away from us. This year we lost it on merit. We just weren’t good enough.”

The Silver Arrows boss has praised Lewis Hamilton for his response to missing out on the 2021 world title in such heart-breaking circumstances, claiming that it has not been easy for the 37-year-old to try to avenge the alleged injustice with such a poor car.

“Lewis has been really, really good because you expect a world champion, who has had the title taken away from him, to just come in and smash everybody. But we didn’t give him the car to do that.

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“He has lifted us up at times with the energy levels he has shown in the briefing room when it was difficult for him. For me, knowing him for ten years from a personality side, from a human side, his attitude and mindset this year was outstanding.”

READ: ‘It’s bad’: Toto Wolff fires Mercedes warning at rivals

Wolff and Hamilton have both taken to the media to reassure Mercedes fans that the team are fully aware of where they went wrong this year, and are confident of providing their drivers with a much more competitive piece of machinery in 2023.

The team have claimed that they simply got the physics of the new F1 era wrong, which led to the failed season, however they believe that they have made amends to their calculations, with full focus now on creating a better car than the W13.

Hamilton himself has joked that he is looking forward to never having to driver Mercedes 2022 car ever again, with it not being one he plans to request to keep as a clause of his new contract.