Ralf Schumacher Expresses Disappointment with Mercedes Ahead of 2024 Formula 1 Season

Ralf Schumacher has voiced his disappointment with Mercedes, expressing concern that Lewis Hamilton and George Russell may face another challenging year in the upcoming 2024 Formula 1 season.

Mercedes, known as the Silver Arrows, unveiled a new concept with the W15 ahead of the season, aiming to bounce back from a winless 2023. The team had abandoned their zero-pod idea after a lackluster performance last year, marking their first season without a Grand Prix victory since 2011.

Russell had secured a victory at the Sao Paulo GP in 2022, the only triumph for the team amidst their experimentation with the zero-pod concept. However, the team failed to recover in the subsequent 2023 season, prompting concerns among both drivers and fans.

Despite Hamilton’s optimism after testing the W15 in Bahrain, where he claimed the car is ‘much better’ and praised the team for designing an ‘entirely different concept,’ Schumacher remains skeptical. The 39-year-old veteran driver, set to join Ferrari after the 2024 season, triggered an escape clause in his deal with Mercedes signed in August.

Schumacher shared his disappointment with Sky Germany, stating, “I’m a bit disappointed with Mercedes. I have the feeling that things will continue like last year. That could also be a reason why Lewis Hamilton lost faith in it and followed Fred Vasseur’s call.”

Hamilton, confident in the improvements, emphasized the W15 is ‘much more enjoyable to drive’ compared to its predecessor, the W14. Russell, who set the fastest lap for Mercedes during pre-season testing with a time of 1:30.368 on C4 Pirelli tires, completed a total of 189 laps across the testing days.