MAY 7, 2022
Struggling Mercedes fights back in Miami
The Formula 1 world is wondering in Miami if Mercedes is finally getting to the bottom of its 2022 woes.
In practice for the first-ever street race in the Floridian city, George Russell - clearly the more competitive Mercedes driver so far this season - was a shock P1.
"The car can't be that terrible, can it?" said world champion Max Verstappen, who had a troubled day in his Red Bull.
It was not smooth sailing for Ferrari, either, but it is clear that Mercedes is much more competitive under the warm Miami skies - with new rear and front wings attached.
"But maybe this practice day gave us an impression of what the picture could look like if our bouncing didn't exist," team boss Toto Wolff said.
Actually, Mercedes isn't quite sure if it's the updates or the track specifics that are resulting in the better pace.
"To be honest, we don't yet understand in detail why things are going so well here so far," said Russell.
Lewis Hamilton, P4 on Friday, added: "I still have my hands full with that car and George seems to be doing better with it."
Red Bull boss Christian Horner is not surprised that Mercedes appear to be in better shape.
"I've always said that it's only a matter of time before they get their problems under control, and then the duel at the top becomes a three-way battle," he said in Miami.
"That seems to be happening right now, but I also believe that the track characteristics help with that."