“The tension was clear to see” 


Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher reckons all is not well at Mercedes after their 2023 Bahrain GP debacle. The Anglo-German team was nowhere close to front-runners Red Bull, Aston Martin, and Ferrari in the opening race of the season.

The Silver Arrows had a dismal start to the 2023 F1 season. The team isn’t struggling with porpoising as it did last year. This time around, their challenger purely lacks the downforce and rear grip required to challenge the Red Bulls and Ferraris, putting them on the back foot.

The team’s aerodynamic philosophy has proven to be a massive failure thus far, leading Ralf Schumacher to believe that there must be internal conflicts within the team.

The first Saudi Arabian GP. A race that we’ll never forget. 🏆 https://t.co/D74TDxgg8p

When asked about a potential change in concept at Mercedes, Ralf Schumacher told Formel1.de’s YouTube channel:

“There must be a dispute. Somehow, the head of technology must have managed to convince Toto Wolff again that the full strength of the concept can now be exploited. And Toto, what should he do, he has to believe in his technical team. He has now become world champion many times. It’s not like that. So the tension was clear and clear.”

With the track in Jeddah reported to suit the W14 more than Bahrain’s, it will be interesting to see whether Mercedes find its way back to the top.

“I think that Mercedes will wake up soon” – Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur

In an effort to offer encouragement to Mercedes, Fred Vasseur acknowledged that it can be difficult to fully evaluate a team’s situation based on a single race. He remains optimistic that the team will improve their performance in the upcoming races, with particular attention to the upcoming race in Jeddah, which he noted has a ‘different tarmac’.

During the initial race weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit, the German team encountered a number of challenges. They struggled to keep pace with the leading performers and were even outperformed by Aston Martin.

Despite the lackluster performance, Ferrari’s team principal Fred Vasseur has not given up hope on the Silver Arrows. He said (via Motorsport):

“It’s race one and we don’t have to do any conclusion. I think that Mercedes will wake up soon. We don’t know what will happen next week.”

Vasseur will have his eyes on the team at the Saudi Arabian GP to note any changes in performance:

“The next race will be a different story in Jeddah with a different tarmac. So let’s see in Jeddah if we have a better picture.”

It will be interesting to see how the team from Brackley performs in Jeddah this weekend.

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