Mercedes’s standout targets for the remainder of the Formula 1 season are to record a race win and beat Ferrari to second place in the constructors’ championship, according to Technical Director Mike Elliott.
After a tough start to the campaign – after the sport’s 2022 rules reset – the Silver Arrows have gradually worked their way back into contention behind pace-setters Red Bull and Ferrari.
Despite their form ebbing and flowing based on track characteristics, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton have bagged 13 podiums between them to bring Mercedes to within 35 points of second-placed Ferrari after 16 races.
Assessing the team’s 2022 progress in their Italian Grand Prix debrief video, Elliott said: “We’ve had some good races, and we’ve had some not so good races, but I think what’s really encouraging is the understanding that’s coming from the simulation work that we’re doing, [and] the understanding that’s coming from the wind tunnel.
“It’s allowing us to work out why our performance is going up and down, what we need to get back into the fight right at the front, and what we need to do over the winter – I think they’re the key things.”
As for Mercedes’ immediate goals, he added: “We want to try and fight Ferrari for that P2 position; we want to try and win a race this season, or multiple races ideally; and most of all, we want to get ourselves back on track so we’re fighting properly for a championship next year.
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“That’s not any disrespect to our opposition – we’ve got fantastic opposition – but that’s what we really need to do. We want to be back there [and] we want to be challenging for championships – because that’s what we’re about.”
Despite struggling for raw pace at Monza, which exposed the W13’s weaknesses, Russell followed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc home for another podium finish, while Hamilton recovered from P19 to fifth after taking on a new power unit.
Elliott is hopeful that the Mercedes package will be better suited to the Marina Bay Street Circuit, which hosts the Singapore Grand Prix on October 2, as the Silver Arrows aim to repeat their standout performances from the Hungaroring, where Russell claimed pole position, and Zandvoort, where both their cars were in the fight for victory.
“When you look back at the learning we’ve gathered over the season, I think we expect that Singapore [will] be a bit more like we’ve seen in Budapest and Zandvoort. It’s a bumpy circuit, which is going to provide its challenges, but in terms of the nature of the corners, we think it’ll be a bit better for our car,” he said.
“As always, we’ll do all the pre-simulation work we need to do, we’ll maximise our learning in the practice sessions, and hopefully we can turn that into a good result at the weekend.”