Why Spa can reveal the most about Mercedes’ powers of resurrection
After a difficult start to Formula 1's ground effect-era, Mercedes has shown signs of recovery in recent races by regularly finishing on the podium and even taking pole last time out in Hungary. With more time to understand its W13 car and its improvement in recent races, plus a new technical directive coming into force for Spa, the Belgian GP could be a crucial barometer of its progress
Attempting to savour the final days before travelling to Spa, perhaps Toto Wolff tuned into Monday Night Football earlier this week. After all, the boss of eight-time Formula 1 constructors’ champion Mercedes has something of an appreciation for Manchester United, the Austrian having revealed he used the club as a case study to understand why great teams decline. If he did watch, Wolff will have seen the Red Devils triumph over Liverpool chiefly by outworking their fierce rivals.
The work ethic of his own Silver Arrows squad is without question, and has garnered constant praise from drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes having zero need to bench its talismanic 37-year-old…). Only it will have taken the grand prix team far longer to have escaped the doldrums to taste victory this season, should it even get there. Nevertheless, events in Belgium can offer the greatest read of just how extreme the ground-effect recovery has been.
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