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How Mercedes suffered more issues after first 'high' point of 2022

After a difficult start to the 2022 F1 season, Mercedes felt they had made progress at the Spanish Grand Prix. However, the team have explained how they were hit with a series of new problems in the aftermath of the race.

Russell Spain
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Mercedes have explained how they encountered further issues with their car after their first "high" point of the season at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The team had a difficult start to the 2022 campaign, having experienced problems such as porpoising with their W13 which left them unable to match the pace of rivals Red Bull and Ferrari.

However, there looked to be signs of progress at the sixth race of the year in Barcelona, where George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished P3 and P5 respectively.

This step forwards did not seem to last long, though, as the event was followed by more challenging weekends such as in Monaco and Azerbaijan.

Mike Elliott, Technical Director at Mercedes, has detailed the issues that the Silver Arrows faced after Spain in a year review video released by the team.

Mercedes suffered after 'high' of Barcelona

"Because we sort of got through Barcelona, [we] had the sort of the high of Barcelona, a feeling that we'd got good performance," Elliott explained.

"We then saw over the next few races other issues that were coming in the car, [such as] issues with the way we were trying to run the car close to the ground.

"It took us a while to get on top of that, not because we couldn't understand it, but it actually takes quite a long time to change these cars around that understanding and deliver the performance."

However, Elliott recalls that the team were able to continously make small steps as the season progressed.

"Each of the packages we brought moved us a small step in the right direction and then another small step in the right direction," he said.

"By Austin, we'd got to a car that, for me, wasn't beating Red Bull, but at least put us in a sensible position, in a position where we could say that our development had moved us in the right direction, and [it had given] us some confidence with what we were doing for the future."

Wolff reflects on 'trial and error' of 2022

Team boss Toto Wolff agrees that the races after the Spanish Grand Prix involved some experimentation for the team in their efforts to move forwards.

"Barcelona came along [and] we had a solid weekend," Wolff commented.

"I think [on] race pace, we were pretty good. For me, it seemed that the rest of the races until Budapest [were] really a trial and error. It was trying to correlate what we didn't see in the data with what was happening on track.

"Then, obviously, we finished the first part of the season before the summer break really strong, with a pole position [for] George [at the Hungarian Grand Prix] and, if I remember correctly, it was a good race."

Mercedes went on to secure their only win of the 2022 season when Russell claimed victory at the penultimate event of the year in Brazil.

Russell and Hamilton ended the campaign P4 and P6 respectively in the World Championship standings, while Mercedes claimed third in the Constructors' Championship.

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