Mercedes was “in no man’s land” at Imola according to its drivers

Never in the fight for victory, but not worried by the rest of the peloton either, Mercedes experienced a lonely race in Emilia-Romagna. The Silver Arrows already seem destined for a bland 4th place in the championship...

Published on 21/05/2024 à 11:20

Dorian Grangier

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Mercedes was “in no man’s land” at Imola according to its drivers

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" Lonely ", this is how George Russell described the race of the two Mercedes at Imola on Sunday, during the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. The two Britons spent their race fighting… against themselves: unable to keep up with the pace of the three Top Teams at the front, the Silver Arrows did not have to defend their position either, keeping a significant margin on the rest of the grid. Only one car from the top teams, that of Sergio Pérez, failed behind the two W15s in Italy.

By finishing 6th and 7th, with the added bonus of the point for the best lap obtained at the end of the race by George Russell, Mercedes will nevertheless be able to be “satisfied” with having maximized the points on Sunday when reading the hierarchy. Fatalistic, the two Britons are aware of the situation of the German team facing its supposed rivals at the front.

Mercedes alone

“We are in no man’s land. There wasn't much to do today. This is where we are and we have to do our best, and this is the best we can do today, said Lewis Hamilton, 6th, after the Grand Prix.We took a small step forward this weekend and we improved. Unfortunately, this is slightly obscured by the progress made by others, such as McLaren et Ferrari. We will continue to strive to make changes that can increase performance. Until then, we will make sure to score as many points as possible. »

“We have slightly reduced the gap with Red Bull and increased our advantage over the middle of the pack, added George Russell, who finished behind his teammate because of his late pit stop. However, McLaren and Ferrari have also made similar gains, so we aim to bring more performance and take bigger steps as soon as we can. We'll never settle for 6th and 7th, but that's where we are at the moment. »

« 6th and 7th, there is nothing to be proud of »

Progress considered invisible by the German clan, but which gives a certain optimism at Mercedes, where it is affirmed that the direction to follow in the development of the W15 has now been identified. For Toto wolff, a McLaren-like trajectory remains possible this season… provided we find “ the miracle solution ».

“You can't see it from the results, but we are making progress in the direction we want to take the car, assures Toto Wolff. We are more than 30 seconds behind the fastest and that's a lot. 6th and 7th, there is nothing to be proud of. It's pretty impressive to see what McLaren is doing at the moment. They were the slowest 12 months ago and now they are the fastest, arguably. This shows that it is possible. » In other words, it's far from being won... After seven rounds, Mercedes also finds itself in a "no man's land" in the championship in 4th place, with 65 points behind McLaren and 35 points ahead of Aston Martin.

ALSO READ > For Vasseur, the championship is not yet decided after Imola: “McLaren and Ferrari can come back on Red Bull”

Dorian Grangier

A young journalist nostalgic for the motorsport of yesteryear. Raised on the exploits of Sébastien Loeb and Fernando Alonso.

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Yves-Henri RANDIER

20/05/2024 at 11:35 a.m.

If Mercedes does not find the miracle solution for 2024, the 2025 season could be even more complicated!

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