May 24 - Red Bull and Ferrari have denied that Mercedes is now nipping at their heels in 2022.

After struggling badly at the start of the all-new 'ground effect' era, George Russell was on the podium in Barcelona and Toto Wolff thinks Lewis Hamilton was the fastest driver on track.

"I'm not euphoric, but we've taken a big step forward," team boss Wolff told ORF.

"We've freed ourselves from the midfield, and Lewis' pace was so strong that he would have been in contention for the win."

The big breakthrough, Wolff said, was with Mercedes' "understanding" of the porpoising phenomenon - but some are warning that the step made in Spain wasn't giant.

"In qualifying, Mercedes are still lacking quite a bit to Red Bull and Ferrari," former F1 driver Timo Glock told Sky Deutschland.

"At least they've come a little closer, but Mercedes now has to add another (upgrade) package."

Team boss Mattia Binotto agrees that Mercedes has not yet caught up.

"They've improved, and congratulations to the team for developing the car well," said the Italian.

"But if you look at Russell's gap at the finish, it was 30 seconds. And 7 tenths in qualifying, that's also significant.

"But I don't think we have to worry yet," Binotto added.

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko, meanwhile, declared: "Mercedes is not yet a serious opponent - you could see that when Sergio Perez easily passed Russell.

"But they are getting closer," the Austrian admitted. "And maybe it happens even faster than we would like."

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4 F1 Fan comments on “F1 rivals don't see Mercedes team has caught up now

  1. Jere Jyrälä

    I doubt Hamilton could've won in any case, probably P3 at best instead of Russell.
    While things can generally change quickly in F1, I doubt Merc could join the WDC & WCC battles anymore.
    They’d need quite a few wins with RBR & Ferrari, but especially VER-LEC suffering points losses simultaneously, so easier said than done.

  2. ReallyOldRacer

    MB could make the racing more interesting and have some success, but to win the WCC they will have to win 7-8 of the remaining 16 races. To win the WDC, RUS has to win at least 5 races and HAM, well he is off in the rhubarb. Still, 3 teams battling for wins will be fun, especially with the midfield being so close. Shaping up to be the most competitive season in quite some time. Bring it!

  3. Swede

    MB has recovered nicely, and will continue. They should start scoring, am! ?ale the races and Constructor's title even tighter, so very glad to have them back.
    Now if McLaren and Haas can get it going...


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