F1 pundit Mark Hughes claims Mercedes' double podium at the 2023 F1 Spanish GP might be slightly deceptive due to Aston Martin and Ferrari's relative pace. Both, Aston Martin and Ferrari struggled in Barcelona, with the Scuderia team failing to score points with one of its drivers.
The Silver Arrows enjoyed their most successful weekend of the year so far in Barcelona, showing incredible pace due to its upgrades. However, the German team's performance was highly exaggerated due to Ferrari and Aston Martin's performance on the track.
Barring Max Verstappen's utter domination, Mercedes was the fastest team on track. Ferrari's performance in Spain was dismal despite their new upgrades. It is entirely possible that Barcelona's high-speed nature failed to suit the Maranello-based team.
Furthermore, the Italian team was grappling once again with its old enemy - tire degradation. Lewis Hamilton's pace on old soft tires was as fast as Carlos Sainz's pace on fresh mediums.
Mark Hughes claimed that the team suffered from terrible ride quality on its cars and was unable to extract maximum performance in Spain. He wrote in his piece for The Race:
"Its ride quality looked awful, just as bad as the old car’s in Monaco last week over the kerbs. To squeeze the underfloor downforce from this generation of car requires it to be run as low as possible and it seems when Ferrari tries for that, its suspension cannot adequately control the aero platform."
Meanwhile, Aston Martin had no race pace compared to Mercedes, who looked to be in flying form over the 64-lap race.
Lewis Hamilton urges Mercedes to keep chasing Red Bull after excellent result
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton expressed his enthusiasm after securing a second-place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix. He recommended that Mercedes continue their efforts to enhance the performance of the W14.
During the race in Barcelona on Sunday (June 4), the seven-time world champion clearly demonstrated his status as the second-fastest driver, following the victorious Max Verstappen.
This event marked the first occasion for the drivers to test the newly introduced upgrades on the W14, which the team had brought to Monaco.
"I think we are going in the right direction and I know we have something in the pipeline moving forwards. I'm hoping at least by the end of the year it would be great if we could challenge them. For me, I'm more focused on making sure that we have the car next year to challenge them from day one."
However, with much of the season yet to go, it will be interesting to watch the Silver Arrows' progress.