Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin put the last nail in the coffin of Mercedes and Hamilton

Red alert and ready for combat. Toto Wolff has activated all possible emergencies to its engineers. If the person most responsible for Mercedes I needed a signal to activate the button, Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin ended up putting the last nail in the coffin of the W13/W14, Mercedes’ failed response to the regulation wing car started in 2022. Where Red Bull triumphed and Ferrari did not fail, the German team will have to throw away that car without sidepods and all the aerodynamic paraphernalia that accompanies it.

Since that strange car appeared that, supposedly, gained second and a half immediately, the W13 was a complete failure. The Mercedes technical team persevered in trying to unravel the hidden secrets of a promising aerodynamic concept. But after the 2022 disaster, Wolff needed a signal to force the decision on the engineers. The beating of Red Bull was brutal, but for a team with the same power unit and other common elements to beat you Olympically has forced us to make radical decisions. In Mercedes they know that neither Lewis Hamilton or George Russell they will be champions They were not in 2022 from a better relative position. Now, they are at risk of becoming the fourth team in 2023.

“This was one of our worst days in racing. It was not good at all, we lack rhythm all around. Aston Martins are very fast, and Red Bull is just on a different planet. It reminds me of our best years, in which we took a second over everyone else”, admitted a sore Toto Wolff at the end of the Grand Prix. However, it was not just about the performance of the AMR23. The head of Mercedes also launched a message in internal code to your own technicians, to which he put the people in charge of Aston Martin as a mirror, and with several veiled reproaches throughout the weekend. Now, he has put them against the wall, and to work. By another way.

The great strategic error of Mercedes

At Mercedes there seemed to be an internal conflict between Wolff and his drivers, and the technical team. Those do not see results, these wanted to continue unraveling the enigmas of their current concept. Hamilton has already warned since he took the W14. After losing ground with Red Bull in a dramatic way (“the difference has tripled”), not seeing Ferrari’s hair, and being beaten by Fernando Alonso and the AMR23, Hamilton raised the tone after the race forcefully with different messages: “When we strategized in the morning, I told the guys that I wasn’t going to go as far as they said I was going to go, and that’s what happened,” revealed the Briton after the race.

“Worried wouldn’t be the word, I don’t want to say much”, “we’re on the wrong track”, “we’re going backwards”, “we don’t have downforce”, “we can’t fight Ferrari, they were much faster than us, just like the Aston”, “we are the fourth team, and we have a lot of work ahead of us to close that gap”, “anything in the wind tunnel, for tomorrow”… For his part, Russell went as far as to say that “we had to back to the drawing boards”, putting a finger on the fact that “the team had been very conservative with the W14”.

On Saturday, Wolff showed his annoyance between the lines. “We can find a silver bullet next week and ‘unlock five-tenths of the car, I haven’t seen any silver bullet before, but you never know”, alluding to the mantra that was heard over and over again in 2022 regarding the W13. Everything indicates that there has been an internal debate at Mercedes about the strategy to follow with the failed car from last year. The technical team has maintained a line of continuity that went back to 2022, also conditioned by the budget limit, which does not allow throwing a car in the trash to make a new one, as Hamilton recalled last Thursday. However, Aston Martin did start working on the AMR23 from the Spanish Grand Prix. It is a “95 percent” new car, as Dan Fallows, its technical director, explained at the time. AND It is this decision that particularly stings Wolff, and that forced Shakir’s ‘enough already’.

Mirror, mirror… from Aston Martin

This is how he verbalized it this weekend, after training. “We have lost a year of development to carry out a steep learning curve, And these decisions had to be made. Aston took it, and they’ve come back stronger. So, if we start from the base, maybe we can come back stronger and catch up with the Red Bulls.” If the silver bullet does not exist, let alone catch up with and beat an RB19 who was a second ahead of Charles Leclerc on Sunday. Hence the drama of Mercedes.

The technical team of the German team received several messages during the weekend, with Aston Martin as a mirror. It was the first time that a customer team had beaten Mercedes. It is possible that Lawrence Stroll would have been successful with his signings, several from Red Bull, but it was also a matter of long-range strategy and, to a certain extent, perhaps technical pride. Mercedes had stubbornly persevered in her own concept that did not work from the first minute.

β€œThey have gained two and a half seconds and their car is half ours, from the engine, gearbox and rear suspension. So, since there are many parallels, we have to acknowledge that they have done a better job.” At the Brackley team headquarters and at the motorhome from Mercedes, they had to shrink. “If it had been a mechanical and suspension issue, the problems would also have to be theirs,” Wolff finished to insinuate that the aerodynamic part was the crack, and this is the work of Mercedes.

Wolff had already advanced in the presentation the changes that are on the launch pad, and that the team’s technical director, Mike Elliot, expanded on Friday. β€œWe have a new body, and it will not be the same as others, and it won’t be the same as the one we have, the sidepods will be different, but it takes time to incorporate the different elements, it takes time to change things on the bottom of the car to make them fit. We will bring them as soon as we can.” After the grand prix, Toto Wolff made it clear: for yesterday. And on a larger scale of evolution. “It is necessary to be much more radical in the evolutions than to wait for an improvement of three tenths”.

The capital question for Mercedes was not losing almost a minute with max verstappen, not see the hair to Ferrari, and be surpassed by his client Aston Martin. It is to go in search of lost time. And in the face of such a utopia, the title may have also escaped in 2023.

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Tarun Kumar

Tarun Kumar has worked in the News sector for 05 years and is currently the Owner and Editor of Then24. He reside in Delhi, India with his Family.

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