Mercedes are more determined than ever to find a fix for their problematic W13 car following the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend, according to Team Principal Toto Wolff and Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin. The second race of the 2022 F1 season proved painful for the Silver Arrows, with Lewis Hamilton scoring just one point after qualifying down in 15th. His teammate, George Russell, fared better by ending the event in fifth, but still crossed the finish line 32 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen. "We need to go back and regroup ahead of Melbourne," Shovlin said after the race, contemplating the upcoming Australian Grand Prix. "The circuit [in Saudi Arabia] has been more difficult for us than Bahrain, and we're under no illusions where we stand at the moment, but we need to remain focused and effective."
Shovlin confident Mercedes will find a way to win
The underlying problem facing Mercedes centres around porpoising, an issue that the majority of the grid have seemed more able to cure. Worryingly, Russell has openly admitted that the team do not know how long it will take to solve their problems, and Shovlin admits that tackling this could be a big task for the Brackley-based squad. "We have an enormous challenge ahead of us," he explained. "But over the last eight years the team has been able to get on top of every performance issue that we have faced. We've been able to do that because we have so many talented and dedicated people in the team, both in Brackley and Brixworth. "We certainly have our work cut out over the next weeks and months, but we are more determined than ever to get ourselves back fighting at the front."
Wolff: The overall picture is sobering for Mercedes
The season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix threw Mercedes a lifeline, as a double retirement for Red Bull opened the door for Hamilton and Russell to finish third and fourth respectively. The points scored that day have helped the outfit to keep hold of second in the Constructors' Championship standings, even after a challenging weekend in Saudi Arabia. However, the longer the team spend trying and failing to fix their car, the further behind they could fall, and Wolff has warned that they will need to put the work in to catch up. The Team Principal added: "The overall picture is sobering, and it's clear that we need to continue working hard if we wish to deliver a stronger performance in Melbourne."