F1 commentator David Croft expertly breaks down what's going on with Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes
| Last updated
Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft has expertly broken down the problems unfolding within Mercedes' ranks – and it looks like their season could be in jeopardy this early on.
The 2023 campaign has only just begun and Mercedes are already slipping behind.
While they're currently third in the constructors' championship, level on points with Aston Martin, both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are fifth and sixth respectively on the drivers' table.
Every practice, qualifying session and race live in 4kUHD on Foxtel and stream on Kayo Sports
But stuttering results aside, the car just looks slower than the rest of the pack – leaving fans unconvinced there'll be silverware this year.
With the car itself looking out of its depth, there has been mounting pressure on Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to try and turn the team's fortunes around.
But Sky Sports F1 veteran Croft admits it won't be easy.
"The worst thing that could've happened to Mercedes last year was winning a race, because it gave them hope that their car wasn't that bad," he told SPORTbible ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.
Catch almost 40 hours of live coverage, including F1 and Supercars
"I think they've now probably realised that it wasn't as good as they'd thought because this year's car is certainly not good. You know it's not good because they're saying that it's going to be vastly different in five or six races time.
"They're not just going to copy Red Bull, as Lewis said, that might actually make them slower if they stick the Red Bull side pods on.
"They've just gone the wrong way in terms of their design concept and the influences that they've taken. They're a team needing to stop now and start again – and that's not easy.
"Finding a change of direction won't be the hard part, getting it ready in a fast time and taking it to the wind tunnel to ensure it's no worse than what they had before – that'll be the hard part."
Thankfully, Mercedes happen to boast two of the most talented drivers on the planet.
One of which happens to be chasing his record eighth world title, although Croft is under the impression that historic moment will have to wait.
"In Lewis and George, they've got two brilliant drivers to really put the icing on the cake when it comes to the engineers and designers," Croft added.
"All the ingredients are there, they just need to get the right recipe and the soufflé will rise – I think it will happen.
"But, they're such a long way back from Red Bull this year and I can't see them challenging regularly for wins against the Red Bulls. They might pick up a couple of results later in the season, but I can't imagine they'll challenge Red Bull this year. So that's another year that'll go past without Lewis Hamilton being able to fight for that record eighth world title."