2023 Mercedes F1: Team principal Toto Wolff | Drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell
Mercedes dominated F1 for the past decade until Red Bull took their mantle last year. Team principal Toto Wolff and his ace drivers aim to recover in 2023.
2022 was a painful season for Mercedes, taking a back seat to Red Bull after having dominated Formula 1 for the past decade. The year proved challenging after the team struggled with the performance of the W13, the new car that they had constructed to comply with updated F1 race regulations.
A season to forget
Mercedes had won eight consecutive constructors’ championships from 2014 to 2021, before dropping to third place last year behind Red Bull and Ferrari- a most disappointing finish for the once-unbeatable team.
On the drivers’ end, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton finished the year in sixth position, two places behind teammate George Russell, who was in his first year as a full-time driver for Mercedes. Hamilton had his poorest showing since he started racing in Formula 1, while Russell delivered his best, snagging fourth place behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, and the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
With the setbacks and design issues of 2022 behind them, Mercedes looks forward to a better-performing car and a more successful campaign this year. The 2023 F1 season will begin this weekend in Bahrain, and after pre-season testing, the team hopes the new W14 will give them the results that they need to reclaim their place at the top of the table.
Team principal Toto Wolff has been with the Mercedes organization for ten years, moving from the Williams Formula One Team in 2013. The former race car driver is the CEO of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, and also owns a third of it. The team has thrived under his leadership, winning 57% of the races they’ve joined since he took over.
Wolf is satisfied with his team of drivers, saying that Hamilton and Russell are both ‘alphas’ who are competing for victories. The billionaire is looking forward to the 2023 season, as they may have better chances of challenging bitter rival Red Bull for both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles.
Hamilton holds the record for most World Drivers’ Championship titles jointly with F1 legend Michael Schumacher. He joined Mercedes in 2013 and quickly enjoyed success with the team during the turbo-hybrid engine era. His struggles with the new car in 2022 left him without a race victory for the first time in his F1 career.
Hamilton says that the results of last year helped them grow as a team, adding that their difficulties also made them hungry to once again be contenders for the title.The 38-year-old said their 1-2 finish in Brazil towards the end of the year was a good indication that they could have a better outcome in 2023.
Russell had his debut season as a full-time driver for Mercedes last year, but he had been part of the organization for a few years. He joined the team’s junior driver program in 2017, and was named one of their reserve drivers in 2018.
In the same year, the 25-year-old signed his first F1 contract with Williams. He obtained his first podium finish with the team at the Belgian Grand Prix in 2021 where he finished second.
The British driver moved to Mercedes in 2022 to replace Valtteri Bottas, and had an impressive showing despite the team’s struggles with the new car. Hamilton has only praises for his teammate and compatriot, acknowledging that he achieved a lot in his first year with the group. Russell admits he still has room to improve, but is eager to challenge Verstappen for the 2023 World Championship.
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