Mercedes confronts a “very difficult” Formula One comeback after making “wrong turns” – Lowe

After making "some wrong turns," the team is facing a "very difficult" recovery from its troubles, according to former Mercedes Formula 1 technical chief Paddy Lowe.

(Motorsports news) During the previous period of rules, Mercedes dominated the competition, taking home the drivers’ and constructors’ titles annually from 2014 until 2020.

However, the team was put at a disadvantage by the 2022 rule change and hasn’t been able to bounce back to consistently fight for race victories.

George Russell stated following the Miami Grand Prix that Mercedes needed to acknowledge it was currently the fourth-fastest vehicle, suggesting that a revision to their car idea for 2024 seemed to have failed to assist the team improve.

From an aerodynamic perspective, Lowe (who worked at Mercedes from 2013 to 2017) thinks the team misinterpreted several current regulations.

Mercedes would need a considerable amount of time to recover from those setbacks, according to the former technical director of Williams and McLaren.

“I have a lot of sympathy and in fairness if you talk to teams that are doing well, if they aren’t too arrogant, and they will say ‘You should count on having good fortune in this sport when you have a good car and don’t assume it is always from your own brilliance,'” Lowe said in an interview with

Most of us have absorbed that lesson throughout the years.

Mercedes has made a few aerodynamically incorrect turns. Even while the instruments we employ—wind tunnels, CFD, and other such technologies—are extremely complex, all teams will acknowledge that they have many flaws.

Even if you manage to get back on track, it will be extremely difficult to produce lap time at a faster rate than your competitors. As a result, you will have to live with this disadvantage for a considerable amount of time while you attempt to make up for lost time. Your team has a large number of employees, and all of your equipment for testing and evaluating ideas should be producing lap time on a daily basis.

“This is the state of affairs that Mercedes finds itself in,” continued Lowe, the founder and CEO of Zero Petroleum, a company that produces synthetic fuel that is carbon neutral.

“You may or may not get there,” Lowe responded when asked if he was certain Mercedes would make a full recovery. Things may be worse. Because of this, it is intriguing to watch champions come and go in the sport.

“I’ve always believed that Formula 1 is somewhat similar to the rise and fall of empires, much like the Greeks and Romans.” There are several factors involved, and as the Romans demonstrated, complacency is one of them.

“We were very happy in 1992 at Williams to beat McLaren, who had seen unbeatable for some years, and you come out and you beat them, and you can’t believe it to start with, but something has changed and lots of thing can contribute to it.”

The upcoming significant regulation change in 2026, according to Lowe, might provide Mercedes with the chance it needs to reclaim its former greatness.

“The 2026 regulations will be a disturbance that Mercedes are looking forward to see if they can disturb the status quo,” Lowe stated.

“But unfortunately today’s formula is very much about optimisation at a micro level on top of some basic structures that you chose or copy or evolve to and then it is about optimisation, and it is very difficult to make step changes within that space.”

Also read: Alonso announces new F1 driving standard guidelines are “on board” with FIA


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