Toto Wolff W14

Uzma Fatima

“Alteration In Mercedes Unique Sidepods Is Possible In Mid-Season,” Explains Boss Toto Wolff

The worst car that Mercedes had ever made was the traditional Silver schemed W13. It is the car that broke all the winning streaks that the team made in history. All of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton’s achievements got a full stop just within a year. The journey from the first position for eight continuous years in the constructor’s championship to the third position took just a season. In the 2022 F1 season, team Mercedes acquired just a solitary victory with George Russell’s courtesy.

The main reason why Mercedes had to face such a defeat from Red Bull and Ferrari last year was the sudden change in the ground floor effects. With the new technical regulations implemented by FIA, Mercedes failed to cope with them as perfectly as Red Bull and Ferrari did. Last year, Mercedes developed a unique design of zero pods and implemented it in the W13 car for the first time in history. However, unfortunately, the outcome did not go as the engineers envisioned it.


But in the final performance analysis, the team found that the sidepod concept was never responsible for the car’s performance. Boss Toto Wolff claimed, “the zero-pod concept is not something that is performance-relevant.” The main problem was the W13 being overweight, solving which the team has changed the car’s livery to black this upcoming season.


After The Initial Races Of The 2023 F1 Season, Mercedes Will Undergo Changes In Order To Win

As a result, the Silver Arrows continued with their unique design, becoming the only team to have the zeropod concept on the grid of the 2023 Formula One season. Despite bringing a revolution in the car, Mercedes came back with more of an evolution in the successor of W13. A lot of similar approaches can be noticed in the W14.
Last year Red Bull succeeded in claiming a double championship. The great RB18 gave the idea to others. Mclaren, Aston Martin, and Williams emerged to copy Red Bull’s design in order to have a good performance. But Mercedes and Ferrari remained the exceptional case: following their own ideas instead of copying others.

In sleek black, shining W14, we can see the narrow side pods. But fans are worried if it will work or not. Looking at the result of the 2022 season, Mercedes need to take each step with double thought. And perhaps Toto Wolff has already taken a deep thought on the zero pod concept continuation. Assuring fans not to worry about the car’s performance because of the side pods, Wolff revealed, “There is the possibility that we will change the side pod design [if it does not work well during the initial races].”

George Russell With Mercedes W14
George Russell With Mercedes W14

The side pod design is not Mercedes’s last invention. The team is in the chase of another big development that might let them ditch the idea of zero pods. A change in order to bring better performance is not a big deal with Mercedes.