Sky Sports commentator Craig Slater says he has been told by a senior Mercedes figure that the media’s assessment of the W14’s position in the starting order for 2023 is overly bleak.
After pre-season testing, most of the media were very pessimistic about where Mercedes stand in the standings for 2023.
The record holders in winning constructors’ titles in a row did not leave the impression that they are a team that should be seriously counted on when it comes to the fight for the title this year.
The new torture with the new car was quite visible during the three days of winter pre-testing in Bahrain. The drivers of the German team often went to the curb because the handling was not the best.
Additionally, they were affected by a mechanical problem, hydraulics, which made it impossible to fully implement the planned plan and program with the new car, which was precisely the goal due to last year’s bad edition of the W13 car.
Mercedes once again struggled with straight line speed, and according to data compiled by Germany’s AMuS, the W14 had the worst straight line speed. At the first race they should bring a new rear wing to try to fix the problem.
The analysis of long stints and race simulations showed that the German team lags even behind Aston Martin. The new car is hard to drive, it doesn’t seem to have enough downforce.
However, Craig Slater, who is a reporter for Sky Sport, says he was told by a Mercedes source that the media’s assessment of the W14 was overly gloomy.
“What about Mercedes, a lot of doom and gloom in terms of coverage of how they’ve done this week,” Slater said in a preview of the 2023 season on Sky Sport.
“Today I spoke with a senior person from the team who said that the assessment of where they are is too dark,” he pointed out.
“[The senior person] said: don’t forget, this is testing. We are not developing the car specifically for Bahrain, but to be the best car during the year.”
“We have more parts coming. We expected based on Red Bull’s performance last year that we would have to start the season behind them, that is probably – and they use the term possibly – where we will start.”
“(And) they also said: but we think we are in a good fight with Aston Martin and Ferrari for second place.”
“That would put a much more positive spin on things if that’s the case,” Slater concluded.