Last year's title contender and second-placed team, Mercedes, is struggling to get any of its drivers closer to the podium. The year has been downhill since the loss in Abu Dhabi. After many claims of the FIA not following the rules to give Max Verstappen and Red Bull, Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton conceded and acknowledged Max as the 2021 F1 champion. It is just like how bettors conceded when they lost bets on NHL odds, even if it was due to bad decisions.
The new year hasn’t worked out for Mercedes as George Russell and Lewis Hamilton are not in the top three. Hamilton is even far off, currently sitting in 7th place. We understand that the year is still long, and a lot can change before Abu Dhabi, but the more issues Mercedes compound, the farther Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen go.
Mercedes hasn’t won a single race this year; the farthest they’ve got was when Hamilton got 3rd in Bahrain and Russell finished 3rd in Australia. It has been that kind of season, and one thing that remains certain is that Mercedes is the 3rd-fastest car this season as they’ve continued to struggle behind Red Bull and Ferrari.
With how the year has gone, is there a chance for Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, and the Mercedes team to salvage the points and compete with the top two cars this year? Follow us as we go through the hoops and predict if the team can turn things around before the last race in Abu Dhabi.
How it all Started
The year started high, and many fans were hopeful for their teams, placing odds on BetUS for their favorites. Most Mercedes fans were looking forward to seeing their team take back the title, and a 3rd place finish for Hamilton in Bahrain wasn’t a bad start. In addition to that, Max has his first DNF of the season. It was a positive point for Mercedes in the perceived rivalry.
Then, Saudi Arabia came, and the woes started; even though Russell finished 5th, his teammate, Hamilton, was 10th. Everything started showing, and we could see that Mercedes couldn’t compete with Red Bull and Ferrari. After that, we went to Australia, and the struggle continued. Undoubtedly, Mercedes needs an upgrade if they’re ever to close in on the top two cars.
The season is still long, and there are plenty of races to complete; we might see the Silver Arrows get back to the top spot, but it will take some performance upgrade.
The Woes of Saudi Arabia
The whole problem started in Saudi Arabia. However, many could argue that there were issues with the car in Bahrain and Mercedes only got lucky because of the Red Bull’s DNFs. But the issue only became public when Ham finished further down than he has in many races. His teammate was two places away from the podium. Therefore, this is more than a car issue.
However, Mercedes still needs to find a way to improve performance (and their BetUS odds) and get their drivers firing. Fans are looking forward to seeing Hamilton back on the podium as that is the only way he is getting close to the top two guys in this year’s competition. It will not be easy, but the team has a chance to get better. Therefore, we look forward to how it goes.
Since Saudi Arabia, Mercedes has improved in terms of performance, but they are still behind Red Bull and Ferrari. They still have a long way to go to meet up with these two teams. Russell was 3rd Place behind Max and Leclerc in Australia, indicating that Mercedes is nowhere near these two teams.
However, we can see the improvement, although Imola wasn’t good for Mercedes as they had to settle outside the podium places again. In that case, there is a lot of work still left for the team if they are to get better in future races and pick up better points. The more races they miss out on, the farther they get from the championship.
Moving Forward and Future Projections
It will not be an easy task to get to the top against Ferrari and Red Bull. The recent upgrade from those teams has blown Mercedes out of the waters, and they are currently the two best cars in the league. Mercedes need to find the optimal setup food the W13 unless they keep coming behind the rivals until Abu Dhabi.
The points are far gone, and the distance is wide. Russell is the closest to first place, and he is behind with a 37-point deficit. On the other hand, Hamilton needs to cover 54 points if he’s ever going to make it close to the championship this season.
Bearing that in mind, we don’t see Mercedes winning the title because we don’t think Leclerc would blow his lead. Maybe they will be better next year, but for this year, Leclerc and Max are the better option.