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Mercedes: 'We didn't give Hamilton the car he could react to 2021 with'

Mercedes: 'We didn't give Hamilton the car he could react to 2021 with'

18 January - 18:39 Last update: 23:25


Nothing tested the relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes like the problematic W13 he and teammate George Russell drove in 2022 according to Andrew Shovlin, trackside engineering director at the German racing stable.

Shovlin said that, especially at the beginning of the year, there was a tense atmosphere within the team. The team was under a lot of pressure due to lack of performance, which brought a lot of stress, anxiety and difficult conversations. The engineer explained this in an interview with Motorsport.com.

Relationship put to the test

As a result, the ever-tight bond between the team and Hamilton was put to the test, especially as the Brit had set his sights on revenge after the defeat against Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi 2021. "He knew how he wanted to respond in 2022 and we were unable to give him a car to allow him to play that role," Shovlin explained.

So one of the biggest challenges for the team was to keep working well together and not let stress get the upper hand. According to the Mercedes chief, the team members managed to do that well and he is convinced that it only made them stronger in the end.

Shovlin hopes his team has now put the worst behind them and can move on to the next challenge. That challenge lies in finding their way back to the top and connecting with Ferrari and Red Bull Racing. However, team boss Toto Wolff recently indicated that Mercedes are likely to start the new F1 season at a disadvantage.