Mercedes-AMG Petronas Finish P3 & P4 In Melbourne. Building Blocks & Developing 24/7.

By: Myanna Wedes

2022 Australian Grand Prix, Sunday – Steve Etherington

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas team did a wonderful job in damage limitation for the World Championship considering their issues with the car from race one. The results of P3 and P4 are a strong indicator that as time progresses, the car will too and the first podium for George Russell is a nice way to keep progressing even though the lead driver of the team is Lewis Hamilton. There were no team orders and it was fair racing so this was nice to see for fans across the globe and those trackside enjoying a sold-out event. There were fears that the Mercedes-AMG Petronas cars were not going to be competitive enough to stick with the Oracle Red Bull and Scuderia Ferrari cars. Besides the dominance of Charles Leclerc, the two Mercs did well to compete and stay within reach of the top steps.

We have all noticed the glowing light on the base of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas that everyone is talking about. Could this be the answer to their aerodynamic problems and bringing more weight to the car in order to stop or limit the amount of porpoising? If the team can balance the car and reduce the amount of bounce this will increase their performance rapidly. We also noticed that the team added further optical ride height sensor houses within the pods on the edge of the floor to test out what works. The team are experimenting at any opportunity and Hamilton has also been on the phone/facetime with the factory checking in to see what can be done. This is the nature of a multi-World Champion. Every inch of data from both of their race cars will crucial in order to bring a car to the track that will compete closely with the two top tier teams and competitors being Scuderia Ferrari and Oracle Red Bull Racing.

George Russell:

“You’ve got to be in it to win it and capitalise from other’s misfortune, and the guys at Brackley and Brixworth have been working so hard on giving us a reliable car. We got a little bit lucky today, probably twice, but we take it. There’s so much hard work going on back at base to try and get us back at the front so to be standing on the podium today is special a reward for all their hard work. We’re never going to give up, we’ve got to keep on fighting. This weekend we were a long way behind our rivals but here we are standing on the podium. We’ve got to keep this up while we are on the back foot, maximise our points opportunities and I am sure we will get there after a few more races.”

Lewis Hamilton:

“It’s a great result for us as a team, honestly. This weekend we have had so many difficult moments with the car and to get fifth and sixth in qualifying, to have progressed like we have, with the reliability we have, is amazing. We definitely didn’t expect to be third and fourth today. George did a great job – I got to see a bit of the battle of him racing Perez and I wish could have been in it but nonetheless, we’ll take these points and keep pushing. I couldn’t fight for third because the engine was overheating so I had to back off and sit behind, but we bagged as many points we could as a team and that’s great.”

Toto Wolff:

“We are leaving Melbourne in a better state than when we arrived– more lessons learned, more data to analyse and more points on the board. Clearly we haven’t got the pace yet to challenge Ferrari and Red Bull but we know where we need to seek performance. One factor that leaves me very optimistic for the future is the mindset and strength of the team. Everyone in the UK, in Stuttgart and in the travelling race team is pulling together every ounce of effort we have to tackle the performance gaps with determination and a deep hunger. Seeing Lewis and George perform at an exceptionally high level today with a tool that is clearly not on the pace of the leaders is another example of the spirit of this team. We are optimistic yet realistic on the timeline for improvement and the advantage our competitors have, but P3 and P4 helps us leave Australia with a good feeling. Both drivers deserved the podium today, Lewis was unlucky with the timing of the Safety Car but the partnership between the two and how they work with one another epitomises the overall spirit of the team.”

We feel the team with so many constructor titles will get there and it is very early into the season. Sure, Leclerc has a significant lead, although look at how close the Championship was in 2021 with literally the title decided on the last lap! What we love about this sport is that it is a “team” that brings home the bacon, the overall glory and they are working 24/7 in order to achieve that very goal. Talk about inspiration x1000 when you analyse and isolate every individual that makes up the dream team across all varying brands.

We are excited to see how the next race at Imola shapes up and where the teams are at performance wise. The Scuderia Ferrari team will be on edge week by week with such a dynamic racer leading the title bid with Charles Leclerc in a quality mindset to handle the pressure.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 on the drivers parade. 10.04.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Race Day. © Copyright: Bearne / XPB Images
2022 Australian Grand Prix, Sunday – LAT Images