Mercedes F1 Dissects Disappointing Brazilian GP Performance

Giancarlo Perlas November 6, 2023

After sealing a strong finish at the Mexican Grand Prix that saw Lewis Hamilton land the podium at P2, the fortunes of Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 took a sharp U-turn at the São Paulo weekend.

Mercedes F1 W14 of Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes F1 W14 of Lewis Hamilton (Photo Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1)

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell Face Tough Challenge

As the race began, Lewis Hamilton started in P5 and George Russell in P8. Both drivers displayed strong starts, with Hamilton quickly vaulting into P3 and Russell climbing to P6. However, their promising momentum was disrupted by a first-corner incident that prompted a red flag.

Mercedes F1 W14’s Mysterious Performance Plunge

Following the restart, Hamilton, who had switched to another set of used Soft tires, struggled to maintain his position and eventually dropped to P4. Meanwhile, Russell gained one position, holding P5. Despite their initial progress, it became apparent that the Mercedes F1 W14 did not have the speed to challenge those ahead or fend off faster competitors from behind.

A Day to Forget: George Russell’s Unfortunate Retirement

The race took a tragic turn for Russell, as rising Power Unit temperatures forced his retirement. This unfortunate development capped off a difficult day for the young driver, who had already been wrestling with performance issues in the car.

Team Principal’s Assessment: A Poor Performance

Team Principal and CEO, Toto Wolff, expressed his disappointment in the team’s performance during the São Paulo Grand Prix. The Mercedes W14 had showcased podium-worthy speed just a week earlier in Mexico, making the struggles in Brazil all the more perplexing. Hamilton managed to salvage a modest P8 finish, but both drivers had to contend with an inherently unstable car throughout the race.

Wolff noted that the car seemed to be on a knife-edge throughout the race, which they must address as they look ahead to the next season. With just two races left in the current season, the team is determined to bounce back and recover from this challenging weekend.

Shovlin Speaks Out: Setup Errors Under Scrutiny

Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin, shed light on the difficulties faced by the team in São Paulo. He explained that between the sprint and the Grand Prix, they had limited options for changing the car’s setup. The scope for adjustments was limited to the front wing angle and driver-configurable electronic settings.

Despite their best efforts, the Mercedes-AMG team couldn’t make a substantial performance leap. The car’s performance was far from what they had exhibited in recent races, where podium finishes were within reach. As the team prepares to dissect their performance and seek improvements, Shovlin acknowledged the disappointment of barely competing for points in a race that was meant to be a test of endurance.

Final Thoughts

The Brazilian Grand Prix was a challenging and disappointing weekend for the Mercedes F1 team. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell faced an uphill battle, struggling with the car’s inconsistent performance. With a focus on the final two races of the season, the team is determined to regroup, identify their errors, and return to their winning ways on the track.

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About Author

Giancarlo Perlas

Giancarlo Perlas is an economist by profession with a career spanning nearly two decades. His professional journey has seen him assume vital roles in various government and private organizations, particularly in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors. Alongside his civic and corporate pursuits is his love for cars, particularly those made by Mercedes-Benz. In 2012, he found himself with like-minded individuals within BenzInsider. From then on, he used the platform as a way to share his passion with the automotive community. Follow his Facebook page at, X (formerly Twitter) @giancarloperlas, and IG @benzinsider. View all posts by Giancarlo Perlas →

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