With both Hamilton and Russell failing to finish the race at the Australian Grand Prix, Mercedes-AMG F1 team is even further behind in an already uphill battle.

Engine Woes and On-Track Struggles

Mercedes‘ hopes for a strong start in the Australian Grand Prix were dashed as Lewis Hamilton suffered a power unit failure on lap 15, forcing an early retirement. This setback followed a challenging qualifying session where Hamilton and George Russell lined up in seventh and 11th on the grid respectively. Hamilton’s woes continued as he struggled with handling instability, prompting dramatic setup changes after off-track excursions during practice sessions.

Hamilton’s Retirement and Verstappen’s Misfortune

Lewis Hamilton’s race came to an abrupt end after just 20 laps due to an engine failure, marking the second retirement of the Melbourne race after Max Verstappen‘s early exit due to a brake fire. Verstappen’s misfortune opened the door for Carlos Sainz to claim victory, while Ferrari celebrated a one-two finish with Charles Leclerc securing second place. Meanwhile, Lando Norris clinched the final spot on the podium for McLaren.

Photos: Formula 1 / Youtube

George Russell’s Mishap

Mercedes’ woes deepened further when George Russell crashed out of the race in the final stages while chasing down Fernando Alonso, effectively turning the possibility for a handful of points into zero points at all. Russell’s loss of control resulted in a dramatic collision with the barriers, leaving his car overturned in the gravel. The incident highlighted the challenges faced by Mercedes throughout the race weekend, adding to their frustrations.

Analysis and Reflection

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff expressed disappointment at the team’s performance, acknowledging the significant pace deficit compared to rivals. Wolff highlighted the stark contrast to the team’s previous dominance, emphasizing the need for continued belief and improvement despite the challenging circumstances.

Hamilton’s Assessment and Looking Ahead

Reflecting on his retirement, Lewis Hamilton attributed the engine failure to a sudden seizure, further underscoring the unexpected nature of the setback. Despite acknowledging the sizable performance gap to Red Bull, Hamilton remained resolute, recognizing the long road ahead for Mercedes in their quest for competitiveness in the upcoming races.

As things stand three races into the 2024 season, Russell and Hamilton sit in 8th and 9th positions respectively in the driver’s ranking. The Mercedes team currently occupies spot number 5 out of 10, falling short of rivals Aston Martin, McLaren, Ferrari, and Red Bull.

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