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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13
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Why Mercedes was right to temper expectations and how it might recover

Mercedes is no stranger to tempering expectations ahead of a Formula 1 season, only to kick off the season in dominant fashion. But the team's 2022 car has legitimate concerns, leaving the Silver Arrows to pursue "damage limitation" at Bahrain. Here's why Mercedes was right to play its W13 down, and how it might find a return to form

Defending champion Max Verstappen certainly wasn’t buying it. Nor were quite a lot of Formula 1 fans when Mercedes came away from pre-season testing rubbishing its chances of fighting for victories at the start of grand prix racing’s second ground-effect generation.

A large part of that is down to the Silver Arrows having previously quelled expectations only to come up trumps. It was the team that cried ‘Wolff’. Last year was a case in point when new, clipped floor regulations were set to hurt the squad only for Lewis Hamilton to win the season opener at Sakhir to tee up a run to an eighth consecutive constructors’ title.

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