Marc Surer Writes Off Lewis Hamilton Ahead Of Saudi Arabian GP Due To Red Bull And Ferrari Advantage

Marc Surer Writes Off Lewis Hamilton Ahead Of Saudi Arabian GP Due To Red Bull And Ferrari Advantage
Marc Surer Writes Off Lewis Hamilton Ahead Of Saudi Arabian GP Due To Red Bull And Ferrari Advantage

LEWIS HAMILTON secured an unlikely podium for Mercedes at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes will have almost no chance of winning the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday ahead of the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari, according to ex-Formula One driver Marc Surer. Hamilton will go in search of a record-breaking eighth Drivers’ Championship title over the course of this season but looks to be fighting an uphill battle as things stand, with Mercedes trailing the leaders in terms of outright performance as they struggle to adapt to the all-new 2022 regulations.

Ferrari walked away from the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix with a remarkable one-two finish, while Red Bull were agonisingly close to snapping up third and fourth before Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were forced to retire with similar mechanical issues during the closing stages of the race. Mercedes, on the other hand, were comfortably adrift of the leading pack and were almost a second a lap slower than their Constructors’ Championship rivals for the vast majority of the contest.

The Silver Arrows struggled to get to grips with their new W13 challenger in pre-season testing and experienced similar problems at last month’s three-day shakedown at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Surer believes that Hamilton will likely be denied victory yet again at this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as a result of the situation at Mercedes, with Red Bull and Ferrari simply too quick for the German outfit to keep up with over an entire race distance.

“It’s difficult to judge who will be fast in Saudi Arabia because it’s a completely different circuit with long straights,” Surer told Formula1News. “Looking at the straights in Bahrain, Red Bull was one of the fastest [but] they obviously didn’t have enough downforce in the slower sections.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after finishing third at the Bahrain Grand Prix

“I think it depends on which car works well with low downforce and we have no experience with that. But looking at Barcelona, which has a long straight and fast corners, the Ferrari worked on both tracks, Red Bull not so much, Mercedes neither, so it sounds [like] it will be again between Ferrari and Red Bull.”

It remains to be seen whether Mercedes will be able to solve the issues that have plagued their season to date over the coming weeks and months before the new campaign eventually begins to take shape. Toto Wolff recently admitted that Hamilton is unlikely to secure his eighth Drivers’ Championship triumph until at least next season if the Silver Arrows are unable to improve on their current performance levels over the course of the entire year.

“If we look at the pecking order today, it seems it will be a very long shot to even think about being in contention for the Drivers’ or Constructors’ Championships,” said the Mercedes boss after the Bahrain Grand Prix. “We probably scored the maximum points that we could have on Sunday, and we need to take it from here.

“Every weekend counts. But at the moment we have to be realistic and when you are third on the road you cannot think about winning it.”

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