It’s official! The 2022 Formula 1 ‘arms race’ is in full swing as Mercedes boss Toto Wolff confirms they are updating their W13 for George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

Despite the cost cap of $140 million this season, reigning world champion team Mercedes are spending big bucks to turn what a dastardly car that was their 2022 car into a decent kit devoid of the porpoising that made it a nightmare.

What they launched in Spain was by far the most effective upgrade package launched last weekend, at least in terms of performance. The rebound was gone, allowing Russell and Hamilton to deliver solid runs.

Needless to say, the strong result of third for George and fifth for Hamilton (who came from behind after a first lap puncture) is a source of optimism at Mercedes and an indication that they are now heading in the right direction. .

What Wolff mentioned in his preview of the Monaco Grand Prix: “We were treated to an exciting Spanish Grand Prix last weekend and for us there was a lot of encouragement to take from it. We are learning about this car all the time and making improvements to it, and in Barcelona we took a good step in the right direction.

“It was fantastic to watch George battle it out with the Red Bulls for a well-deserved podium, while Lewis’ battle through the field from P19 to P5 was incredibly impressive.”

A good racing car in Barcelona may bode well for other tracks, though not always the narrow streets of Monte Carlo, but there is a suspicion in the paddock that the Mercedes will be strong at sea level and in the parts narrow.

Wolff continued: “Now we quickly move on to the next race. Nothing rivals the glitz of Monaco, and it’s a real joy to watch the drivers push their cars to the limit, weaving through the tight streets.

george russell spain podium wolff mercedes

Toto: We’ve seen so far this year that anything can happen

It’s a unique and incredibly demanding track, with an intense level of concentration required to complete each lap. Monaco hasn’t always been our happiest track, and slow corners haven’t been our strength this season as we saw in Barcelona.

“But we’ve seen so far this year that anything can happen and we’ll be looking to maximize every opportunity,” Wolff ventured.

Hamilton, three-time Monaco Grand Prix winner, summed up the street circuit best: “To master a lap in Monaco, of course, you need to have a light and nimble car.

“You have to have great downforce, you have to have the right power-to-weight ratio, you have to have the right position on the track, clean air in front of you, commitment, you have to be ready to touch the barriers.

“It’s a track where you have to be able to have your cake and eat it, in terms of how you approach each corner. On other circuits, you brake a little earlier each time, on the way back.

“And then you work to make sure you get the exit. In Monaco you want to take everything out and everything out,” added Hamilton.

Sunday’s race is the 68th in the Principality and the 7th round of the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship.

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