Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Ola Kallenius has dismissed any suggestions that Mercedes is considering leaving F1 in the near future. The Silver Arrows have recently enjoyed one of the most dominant team eras in F1 history, winning eight consecutive constructors’ titles. On seven of those occasions, they’ve produced a world champion.
Six of those have gone to Lewis Hamilton, the only exception coming in 2016 when teammate Nico Rosberg prevailed. But the 2022 campaign is unlikely to see any silverware added to the cabinet, following a torrid start to the season.
In a new era of F1 regulations, Hamilton has only managed to amass 36 points from five Grand Prix races so far, with Team Principal Toto Wolff apologising to him for his “undriveable vehicle.” George Russell has managed 59 points, but is still 45 off overall leader Charles Leclerc and is yet to seriously challenge for a race win.
Indeed, Hamilton himself has already conceded he isn’t in the running for the championship so far. The struggles have led to reports that the team could be considering its future in F1, having thus far clearly failed to adapt its cars to the stringent new rules.
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However, Kallenius, Chairman of the Management Board of Mercedes-Benz since 2010, dismissed that notion at a business event last week: “F1 is very relevant and we will remain,” he was quoted as saying by pitpass. The Swede is also wary of the growth of the sport following the Netflix Drive to Survive series.
“It has changed the game, so we are happy to be part of this show and to be one of the strengths of Formula 1, leveraging it for both our technology development and marketing,” he continued. “There is significant growth, particularly among the younger generation. As far as we are concerned, F1 has a bright future ahead of it.”
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The sport is working towards having a net zero carbon footprint by 2030, another factor that Kallenius is prepared to embrace:”A sport like Formula 1 has to put on a show, so the decarbonisation route has to be taken,” he continued.
“The next engine regulations will give much more importance to the electric part, and there is a clear commitment to make Formula 1 CO2 neutral.”
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