Mercedes have been the dominating force in Formula 1 in recent history, winning every constructors’ championship since 2013, however it was Red Bull’s year this year, with the team wrapping up the title this weekend in Austin.
Toto Wolff agrees that both championships were thoroughly deserved, with the team and their driver pairing of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez being levels above the competition.
“They were really up front everywhere this season and didn’t make any mistakes,” the Mercedes team boss said in the wake of Red Bull sealing the double.
“They came out of the blocks with a good car and have continued to develop – both titles are absolutely deserved.”
Ferrari pushed Red Bull as far as they could in 2022, however Mercedes never really seemed part of the argument, with the Silver Arrows never giving Lewis Hamilton or George Russell a car capable of challenging the energy drink giants.
The W13 struggled with porpoising in the early stages of the season, leaving the team baffled, and having to sacrifice precious time, that could have been spent on upgrades, fixing the issue.
Hamilton was lapped by Verstappen at Imola, showing the true gap in pace between Mercedes and the front runners, with Toto Wolff claiming that Russell has now completely lost confidence in the car.
“George no longer has confidence in the car,” he admitted.
“It’s too unpredictable for him, too moody in different conditions, too susceptible to wind.
“That’s why he doesn’t get everything out of it anymore.”
The Silver Arrows had hoped to be a bit for competitive this weekend, having brought upgrades to the USA, however the gap in qualifying to the polesitter remained similar to previous races, leaving Hamilton frustrated.
“The car wasn’t easy to drive,” said the Brit.
“And we just weren’t fast enough.”
Mercedes are reportedly focussing most of their efforts on next year’s car already, with Chief Technical Director James Allison telling the media that the team know the numbers they need to hit to get back to the top of the timing screens, and believe they have the capability to do as such.
It is never easy to master a major regulation change in the first year, however Mercedes have not lost faith in their process, hoping to challenge Red Bull and Ferrari once again next year.