With Mercedes’ winless race this season, Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of breaking his record of winning a race in every year he’s raced in F1.
According to former F1 mechanic Marc Priestley, Lewis Hamilton could be back at the top of the grid next year, with Mercedes lacking only “one ingredient.”
Mercedes’ 2022 campaign has been frustrating, with the troublesome W13 car needing to be perfectly fine-tuned to compete with the top drivers.
Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc both had a better start to the season, whereas Mercedes are yet to win a race due to the W13 porpoising issues.
Hamilton finished second in back-to-back races and appeared to be on track for his first win of the season at the Dutch Grand Prix until safety cars intervened.
Mercedes appears to be on the verge of being able to compete on a regular basis with Red Bull, and the focus will now likely be on closing that small gap for the 2023 season.
Priestley, who worked at McLaren during Hamilton’s tenure there, believes Mercedes will be back fighting for the championship next year.
According to Priestley on the Pitlane Life Lessons Podcast: “All the best teams are looking for marginal gains, where you’re just looking for a one percent improvement on every single thing that you do. And that’s from the drivers, to the pitstop crew, to everybody. “
“If you can improve by 1% over what you did yesterday, that gradually moves you forward. I think that’s what Mercedes has been really impressive with this year. Because winning a World Championship is an indescribably difficult thing to do, you need so many elements to be perfect to make it happen.
“It’s like the ingredients of a cake. If you’ve got nine out of 10, you’re going to get an average cake. It’s not going to taste quite right or it won’t rise. You need all 10. And over the last seven years or so, I think Mercedes and Lewis have pretty much had all 10 – they’ve got everything right, they’ve got the whole package. And that’s why they’ve been so dominant.
“This year, they’ve still got nine out of 10, but the car hasn’t quite been right. They’ve still got the right team, the right people, the resources in the right place, the right team culture, they’ve got the right attitude, all of those things are still there that made them champions for seven years on the trot. “
“And I think it’s just the fact that they didn’t quite get the car right with this changing set of regulations. Yes, it means they’re not at the very top, but because everything else is there, they’ll get there. “
“And they’ll gradually incrementally improve the car until the final ingredient is back in place. And you know, I think it’s much easier to go that way round than to “stumble” across a great car. “