Mercedes, facing a crucial Formula 1 season with their new W15, lacks the “blind confidence” necessary for success, according to Mika Hakkinen, who also highlights the clear team dynamic favoring Lewis Hamilton over George Russell.
‣ Mercedes is facing a crucial Formula 1 season with the introduction of a completely new W15, aiming to compete for top positions again after two disappointing years.
‣ Mika Hakkinen highlights a lack of “blind confidence” within the Mercedes team, suggesting they need to unify and reignite their will to win to overcome recent setbacks.
‣ There is a clear division of roles within Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton being the central figure since 2013, which affects the team dynamics and performance expectations.
‣ The relationship and performance comparison between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell is significant, with Hamilton proving his worth amidst talks of retirement and Russell facing immense pressure as the teammate of a seven-time world champion.
Mercedes has hit a rough patch. After two years that can only be described as disappointing, they’ve managed only a single win with George Russell. Now, they’re pinning their hopes on the new W15. Toto Wolff and his team are crossing their fingers, hoping to claw their way back to the top.
Mika Hakkinen, however, isn’t so sure. He’s noticed something off. According to him, Mercedes is missing a certain… je ne sais quoi. Confidence, to be exact. The kind that’s blind and unwavering.
### ‘Mercedes lack that blind confidence’
“Crossroads” is the word Hakkinen used. Speaking to Bild, he pointed out the abundance of question marks hovering over the team. It’s been a while since they’ve been this uncertain. But, Hakkinen believes, setbacks can be stepping stones. “You gotta want it,” he says. “That drive to win needs a comeback. And that blind confidence? It’s MIA.”
Hakkinen, who’s not new to the game, sees the dynamics within Mercedes clearly. It’s Lewis’ world, and George is living in it. Despite Russell entering his third season, Hamilton’s shadow looms large. With years of rapport with the engineers and mechanics, Hamilton can pinpoint issues in less than a cup of coffee’s time. In the high-stakes world of Formula 1, these nuances matter. A lot.
### Role distribution between Hamilton and Russell
Russell had a moment in the sun, outperforming Hamilton in his rookie season. But 2023 flipped the script. “Hamilton snagged third place, leaving Russell in the dust at eighth,” Hakkinen observed. It wasn’t a shocker for him. Hamilton, amidst whispers of retirement, was on a mission to prove a point. Russell, on the other hand, was buckling under the pressure. Being the teammate of a legend like Hamilton means you’re under the microscope. And in this sport, it’s not just about finishing on the podium. It’s about outshining legends. A tall order, especially when you’re racing against a titan.