Toto Wolff Mercedes
Toto Wolff Mercedes Source: Daily Express

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is desperate to get back to the front grid of Formula One as soon as possible. Other team principals also know how competitive Wolff is. In the Spanish Grand Prix, the Silver Arrows had their first double podium this season with a two-three finish. But coming to their home track in Silverstone, they lost to McLaren.

It is believed that McLaren copied Red Bull’s car design, especially around the side pods and the rear end. Hence, in the post-race interview, Lewis Hamilton mentioned that his team, Mercedes, should get a similar design to take a step in the right direction. Toto Wolff also liked the MCL60’s design and side pods. Both Hamilton and Wolff agree that MCL60 looks very similar to RB19. That is also the reason why the Mercedes boss is now facing questions regarding any issues or plans for change with the W14’s side pods.


Toto Wolff Answers Questions If Mercedes Will Follow McLaren’s Footsteps

Mercedes W14 Sidepods
Mercedes W14 Sidepods Source: Sky Sports

Since McLaren adapted their car to Red Bull’s design, they have gained pace and have done well in Austria, and in Silverstone, they gained a podium. Hence Toto Wolff got questions from reporters in recent interviews if they would copy Red Bull’s design as well. Although the Mercedes boss asserted that he had faith in his team’s aerodynamicists, especially James Allison. He thinks that his team might consider copying the RB19’s design after seeing McLaren’s improvement. As Wolff mentioned, the team tried the side pod and the bodywork in the tunnel concept very early in the season. They wanted to see how much it improves the performance. But there was a relative and substantial loss of the downforce. Although the Mercedes boss believes that side pods and bodywork are just a part of the chassis.

Apparently, the main source of the performance is the floor, along with the diffuser. Wolff also acknowledged that they are unaware of McLaren’s take on the regulations regarding floor and diffuser. Hence, he gives credit to the package and not just to a part of the chassis. The Mercedes boss added that strong cars generally look alike. Moreover, it is essential to check how McLaren performs in Budapest next weekend. But more importantly, the team must keep in check with the wind tunnel time as well as the CFD time. Wolff noted that the sport is about marginal gains. Hence, it is essential for good engineering to combine with good decisions. It always works well on the right track.

There’s No End Of Car Trouble For Mercedes Since Last Year

Mercedes W14 Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes W14 Lewis Hamilton Source: Sky Sports F1

Sadly, Mercedes has been struggling with their car since last year. The W13 version had a lot of porpoising issues causing too much bouncing for the drivers. The 2022 car did not have any side pods, as Mercedes was following the concept of zero side pods. But it did not help the team in its cause. Hence, they made plans to change the concept. But the success in the Brazilian Grand Prix last year made them believe in the zero side pod concept once more.

They stuck to the concept at the beginning of the current season as well. But they soon realized that it was not worth it. Hence, the preparation for building new side pods began soon after the Bahrain Grand Prix, the opening race. Later, they introduced new upgrades consisting of side pods along with front and floor suspensions in the Monaco Grand Prix. It had no immediate effect because the Monte Carlo track was not ideal for testing new upgrades.