Only Sergio Perez’s controversial penalty in Abu Dhabi saved the match Mercedes from losing, in the last match of the year, the second position in the Manufacturers’ standings to the advantage of Ferrari. However, for the Brackley team, 2023 was certainly not a year to remember. The silver arrows have indeed finished theirs first winless season since 2011being beaten on several occasions even by their client teams at power unit level.
In the first half of the year it was Aston Martin – thanks above all to Fernando Alonso – who made the loudest noise. From the Austrian GP onwards, however, it was under McLaren, who at the end of the championship even achieved more podiums than the team directed by Toto Wolff. In the last races of the year, the Austrian manager clearly made it clear that he had it we are already looking ahead to 2024.
Unaccustomed to defeat
The numbers, however, nail Mercedes, who have only collected since the infamous Abu Dhabi 2021 race one victory in 44 GPs, against Red Bull’s 38. The 1997 world champion, Jacques Villeneuvehe commented on the site PlanetF1 the particular situation experienced by the Anglo-German team, underlining how part of the team’s problems depended on the fact that, since the introduction of the hybrid power units, it had never been ‘used’ to losing.
“Rivalry is the only way to progress – declared the Canadian pilot – without rivalry we go backwards. In the past Mercedes won easily and today this cost them dearly, because it took them too long to react to the car’s problems last year. It was tough for them two years ago when they lost the championship. They lost their minds a bit, their control of the situation, because the team wasn’t used to not winning. She was a cold shower. Even many of the team’s mechanics were not used to it and not everyone was able to live with this situation“.
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