Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing
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Mercedes sent a ‘serious statement’ to Red Bull and their other 2022 rivals in December, according to Formula One expert Sam Collins. The Silver Arrows have wasted no time developing their new car ahead of their hunt for a ninth successive Constructors’ Championship later this year.
Team principal Toto Wolff guided Mercedes to another triumph in the constructors’, trumping Red Bull by 28 points.
They were on course for a fifth consecutive success in the Drivers’ Championship, too, before controversy struck at the Yas Marina Circuit.
In December, Max Verstappen’s final lap overtake on Lewis Hamilton in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix denied the Brit a record eighth world title.
But less than two weeks after the nightmare finale, Mercedes have demonstrated they mean business heading into the new season.
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The Brackley-based outfit’s fans received an early Christmas present on December 23 in the form of a social media video teasing their new W13 car.
The 2022 challenger was fired up for the first time for the Silver Arrows in the clip as they showed fleeting glimpses of the chassis.
Given the early nature of the reveal, there was mass confusion over whether the engine in the video was a late 2021 model or very early 2022 spec.
But Collins reports that Mercedes has confirmed it’s indeed a 2022 spec, meaning Wolff’s team has showcased a massive message of intent.
While other teams are expected to finalise their power units by mid-February, Mercedes can now focus on other aspects of the car to give them the best advantage possible with sweeping changes to the sport’s regulations expected to cause big changes.
A new era of F1 begins in the upcoming season, with new rules set to make for closer, more exciting races.
There has been a focus to increase the potential for overtaking and, therefore, lead to a more competitive field.
And Wolff is wary but excited about the prospect of their challenge from Red Bull expanding throughout the grid.
Earlier this week, he said: “We are all operating under the same financial cap, and the concepts are very new.
“Then what was introduced is the aerodynamic regulations, where teams based on their standing in the championship had a little bit more allowance.
“So it’s pretty much possible that teams who hadn’t competed for the world championship this year.
“Whether it’s Ferrari, McLaren, Aston Martin, or Alpine, [they] are capable of coming up with the intelligent concepts based on much more runs than everybody else and just doing it very right.
“I think we need to expect much closer fighting for championships and races than we had before, and that’s exciting.”
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