Sky Sports F1 pundit Martin Brundle has described Mercedes and Ferrari's 2023 season as a 'rollercoaster of elation and disappointment'.
Mercedes secured second place in the constructors' championship, narrowly holding off Ferrari, who fiercely fought for the position but ultimately finished three points adrift after a tense battle in Abu Dhabi.
Despite securing the runners-up spot, Mercedes have been largely dissatisfied with their inconsistent performances throughout the season while Ferrari will rue a number of strategic and reliability issues.
George Russell secured a podium finish during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but his team-mate Lewis Hamilton finished down in ninth place, highlighting the unpredictability of the Mercedes team.
Brundle: An intriguing battle
Ex-F1 driver Brundle labelled both Mercedes and Ferrari's seasons as a 'rollercoaster', while also acknowledging that Formula 1 cars operate on a 'knife edge' and stressing the inherent challenges experienced by seemingly everyone other than three-time world champion Max Verstappen.
“Behind him [Max Verstappen] was an intriguing championship battle between two titans of our sport in Ferrari and Mercedes,” said Brundle.
“Between those teams and four drivers they've had a rollercoaster of elation and disappointment through the season.
“The powerful aerodynamics of the latest F1 cars can be knife edge to perfect, and combined with tyres which can be very sensitive to core and tread surface temperatures, and track layouts, and other mood swings, all bar one driver has had a variable season in terms of race results.”
Mercedes have been transparent about the challenges they encountered in the 2023 season, with Hamilton openly expressing his concerns as they look ahead to the next season.
"Not particularly," Hamilton said in response to being asked if he was satisfied with Mercedes getting second in the constructors’ championship. “It's not been a great year in general. The fact I survived it. Probably that's about it."
"At this moment, I don't really know. For Red Bull to win by 17 seconds and they haven't developed their car since August is definitely a concern.
"We have learned a lot about the car and it's just down to the team now. They know what they need to do. Whether or not we will get there, we will see."
"We've got to develop that better for next year,” said Wolff after the Brazilian Grand Prix. “Because it can't be within seven days, you're finishing on the podium, solid, probably one of the two quickest cars and you're nowhere and finish eighth.
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