Mercedes “picking up scraps” despairs laid out in full

“They are not even behind the people who are picking up the scraps!"

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Race
George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Mercedes’ woes at not even being the team to “pick up scraps” from Red Bull have been debated.

A rare off-day from F1’s dominant team last weekend at the Miami Grand Prix enabled McLaren’s Lando Norris to win his first-ever race.

Lewis Hamilton finished sixth, and George Russell eighth, behind a McLaren, two Ferraris and two Red Bulls.

“They are going to be looking at McLaren’s step forward,” F1 Explains podcast presenter Christian Hewgill told the F1 Nation podcast.

“You’ve got to pick up on scraps when you’re in an era of Red Bull domination.

“The scrap was: that Red Bull was tricky on its balance.

“McLaren swooped in and picked up that scrap. [Mercedes] want that to be them…

“They are not even behind the people who are picking up the scraps!

“I still think they will go away and say: ‘Two cars into Q3, bit more solidly into the points, but we’re not on the podium or winning’.

“I sense a real air of disappointment around that team this season.

“Every year we come into preseason testing and think ‘they will roar back’ but it doesn’t happen.”

The W15 - which promised much as a step forward compared to the bleak cars of the past two years - has not yet delivered.

“George and Lewis have said in the past it is even inconsistent lap to lap,” Hewgill continued.

“How it handles into one particular turn, at one particular track, can differ from one lap to the next.

“They seem unable to get to grips with it consistently. They will be disappointed.”

Hamilton’s weekend was most notable for a battle with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.

Magnussen’s admission that he was driving tactically to help his teammate score points drew a respectful reaction from Hamilton.

“They are often nice to each other in this paddock but I enjoyed them going at it hammer and tong,” Hewgill said.

“We’re in an era where sometimes it’s best to let someone overtake you as it’s best not to ruin your tyres.

“So it was fantastic to see them battling. I enjoyed seeing Lewis do that.” Editor Greg Stuart said: “I don’t think the team would deny that it was an off-colour performance. George used the word ‘rubbish’.

“What Lewis loves doing is dominating a race from the front and showing everyone that he’s the GOAT, he’s the best.

“But he also loves telling stories of karting of having the cheapest, used tyres and beating rivals. He loved that.

“He loved battling Nico Hulkenberg. At Turn 11 he was like ‘we will either have an aircraft-style crash or I will get by…’

“He enjoyed Kevin Magnussen’s integrity too, of admitting he played a tactical game.

“Lewis wants to win championships and races but he was loving the situation he was in.”

Read More