Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff claims that they will make a recovery from a “character-building” 2022 season next year.
After 8 years at the top of the pecking order, Mercedes had a difficult campaign in 2022. The Silver Arrows had to deal with porpoising and performance swings of the W13 car.
Mercedes brought upgrades to address the issues. Their performance improved, and Mercedes achieved a 1-2 finish in Brazil. However, they did not manage to repeat the success a week later in Abu Dhabi – George Russell finished the race 5th, while Lewis Hamilton retired due to a mechanical problem.
“[We were] third quickest [behind Red Bull and Ferrari], [with] one breaking down and one running out of tires – it’s a precise summary of the season, and here we are,” Wolff told Sky Sports about Mercedes’ performance in Abu Dhabi.
“I think we cooked the tires on the first few laps, we attacked strong, the car seemed to be really good, and then the front right just gave up, so maybe that’s something we should have predicted.
“We knew Abu Dhabi would be a difficult one for the car, so at least the correlation is good, and Brazil was just spectacular from beginning to end with the one-two, so at least we ticked the box with a race win.”
Mercedes ended the 2022 season in 3rd place in the Constructors’ Championship with 515 points scored. Wolff stated that they are determined to make a comeback.
“First of all, we have to put these cars in reception [at our factories] in Brackley and in Brixworth to remind us every single day of how difficult it can be. They know, everyone who is watching today, that this is a character-building season – not a blip of one race, a full season.
“We [kept] pushing so hard. The engine came along really well, and I’m proud of what we achieved there. On the chassis side, there were more bad moments than good ones, but the good ones were spectacular, like a week ago [in Brazil], and they made us feel how good it can be.
“Now we are just pushing forward for next year. It’s rough, it’s bad, it’s okay to feel like this, but next year, we are back.”