Written by Andrew Lwanga, Edited by Alessandra Erazo
There has been a change of perspective at Brackley, as the Mercedes F1 team now believe they could be on course for a title challenge. A third and fifth place for George Russell and Lewis Hamilton may not seem the results to warrant such a belief, but the reason is not on the result sheet.
The Silver Arrows enjoyed a record-breaking run of eight consecutive championships that saw them rise to one of the greatest teams in Formula 1 history. That run of form came to a halt in 2022 as Mercedes failed to properly adapt. Playing catch-up in the first five rounds, Mercedes entered the Spanish Grand Prix aiming to make an impression on Ferrari and Red Bull and what an impression they made.
After a first lap collision between Lewis Hamilton and Kevin Magnussen, the seven-time world champion found himself over half a minute behind the rest of the field but Hamilton was able to make the charge back up the field all the way into fourth place before a water leak saw him give the position to Sainz whom he'd overtaken despite being close to a minute behind him at one stage.
"This was the first step. Now we have to learn how to get more out of this package" technical director Mike Elliott told AMuS after the race. "The car reminded me for the first time of our championship cars in recent years. When you can drive from the back to the front like Lewis, that's enough reason to believe that we will soon win races again and maybe be able to fight for the two world titles."
It would be an uphill task for Mercedes to challenge for the championships. Mercedes trail Constructors’ Championship leaders Red Bull by 75 points while Russell is behind Verstappen by 46 points with Hamilton a further 64. However, with three quarters of the season still to play for, anything is possible.