2023 Mercedes W14 launch

Mercedes retains “DNA” of troubled 2022 car, but plans to make early transition to unique side pods RaceFans

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Mercedes answered a vital low season query when the group unveiled its new W14 on Wednesday: Would the sacked champions ditch the aggressive design idea that has been the hallmark of its most underrated automotive in 11 years?

The reply was a transparent “no”. The strikingly slender ‘zero’ aspect partitions acquainted from final yr’s automotive stay. Technical director Mike Elliott stated the W14 “has the DNA of the W13, but in addition contains many enhancements and element enhancements.”

Mercedes nonetheless has religion in its core idea. In direction of the tip of final yr, the group constantly stated they did not imagine their distinctive strategy to sidepod design was the reason for the dragonfly points that plagued their marketing campaign and endured till the tip of the season regardless of some enhancements.

Nevertheless, Mercedes is planning an overhaul of the automotive, which appeared at launch, as in 2022. With only one pre-season check run as an alternative of two this yr, this variation shouldn’t be anticipated to return after the primary race.

“Sidepods will not change very quickly, however we’re taking a look at options,” Wolff informed reporters, together with RaceFans. “However as we judged, it is not an important core efficiency piece.”

“I feel it is essential to be courageous on this sport and I am nonetheless pleased with the options that had been put into the automotive final yr.” “Our sidepod design shouldn’t be one thing we imagine is basically the explanation we do not carry out.

“Look, there isn’t any holy cow in our idea. It isn’t that we do not need to comply with anybody’s concepts. We have remained the identical as with the slender sidepod, however you possibly can see some enhancements to any extent further with upgrades and sidepods.”

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Mercedes’ bitter expertise in 2022 has led them to rethink their strategy to growth.

“We discovered a tough lesson final yr,” Wolff stated. It is related as a result of it is not going to be a automotive’.

“Then we put that on the observe and it did not carry out as we anticipated in any respect. So this yr we went the alternative method.”

Misled by their anticipated efficiency within the W13, Mercedes’ precedence is to confirm that its successor is behaving as its simulations predicted.

“What you see is basically the automotive that we’ll be racing and testing on the similar time, as a result of it’s basically essential to know the platform and the way the automotive behaves within the background that may add a tenth or two to pure aero efficiency,” Wolff defined.

Extra drastic adjustments to the automotive would have left Mercedes extra variables to juggle. “If you wish to fully change your idea, you are in all probability taking two or three steps again, not one,” Wolff stated. “So we stayed the place we had been.

“I really like the truth that we’re courageous, keep courageous, and proceed to comply with what science tells us.”

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The group straight addressed a shortcoming of the 2022 automobile by returning to the predominantly black look of the 2020-21 designs, lowering the automobile to the minimal weight restrict and eradicating extra paint.

Wolff says, “We’re on the weight restrict we need to obtain. “Clearly taking a look at all the burden financial savings, everybody must make a dedication. So that is actually a efficiency problem. There is not a ton of weight it can save you on paint, but it surely exhibits the intent of what we’re doing.”

Whereas the automotive might outwardly resemble its predecessor, Elliott and his group hope to see the fruits of a “massive winter” at this time when it first hits the observe for a shake check at Silverstone.

“Whenever you have a look at the place we had been final yr, I feel we made some progress in direction of the tip of the season, however we knew it was going to be a giant winter. We knew we needed to dig deep.

“It has been unbelievable to look at the trouble put into this automotive, each at Brackley and Brixworth. So many hours, a lot mental thought, and let’s hope it is good design to get to the design we have.”

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