After Sunday’s New York City E-Prix, Mercedes will have to accept that they are no longer in the role of the “hunted” but in the role of the “hunters”. This realization came after the fifth race in a row without points.
At the beginning of the year, the world was still for the two Mercedes drivers Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne, when they had a double podium in the first race in Valencia. As a result, their lead in the world championship was immense.
Now the German team has been knocked off the lead for the first time in 3 months after neither driver scored a point at the weekend in New York. They now find themselves 5th in the standings with only 8 points in the last 6 races.
Nyck de Vries has also had his opinion on the performance of the team.
“To be entirely honest, this weekend we were not competitive. We just need to face the mirror that meant we were not strong enough. That is just the reality. We were not competitive enough.”
The Dutchman only qualified in 22nd place and fought his way up to 18th in the race.
In contrast, Robin Frijns advanced from P21 to P8 to go 3rd in the standings behind race winner Sam Bird.
Ian James, Mercedes’ team principal, says that the team has now become the “hunter” and they will “leave no stone unturned” to stop the dip in form.
“It wasn’t the weekend we needed or should have delivered either. Stepping onto the plane home tomorrow without having scored a single point this weekend is more than disappointing. The team is already looking into the data, leaving no stone unturned to make sure we can get ourselves back in the game.”
“Our competitors have been picking up points this weekend, and we are slowly starting to find ourselves the hunters, rather than the hunted.”
Stoffel Vandoorne had no luck with the tires last weekend. He was plagued by punctures in qualifying and in the race itself. That meant he had to drive on Sunday with Saturday’s tires.
“I was basically running around with tires that had gone the whole race yesterday. We were lacking some pace, struggling with the rear-right tire that basically had no rubber left for starting the race.”
However, the Belgian still expects problems when it comes to grip because he believes that the team generally still lacks it.
“It’s hard to judge how that contributed to the overall pace. I am confident the car is still good, that the team is still good. It just feels like nothing has gone our way and we’re on a really bad run recently.”