Mercedes is not the team to have a comeback this year. Aston Martin is paving the way instead.
For the 2023 Formula One world championship, the team that had the most eyes on it was Mercedes. With their black livery W14, they indeed astonished fans following their unique side pods concept. But it seems like their unique concept is not gonna save Mercedes from repeating their own deadliest past, the “worst” 2022 season. They need a change, with whatever the W14 ran in the Bahrain Pre-season test, and on the opening day, it did not work. Mercedes may not copy Red Bull’s design, and it may remain the prestigious team. But it does need a change, the change that can bring the team’s winning pace back.
Trackside engineering chief Andrew Shovlin has revealed that the side pod concept of the W14 that we saw on the launch day will get altered in terms of the car’s development. The W14 is not a revolution in the Mercedes 2022 concept, but it has brought different evolutions in it, different from W13. And this allowed them to remain free from porpoising issues. Yet still, it is not balanced, and other sets of problems are attached, which needs another evolution. Maybe Mercedes will have to drop off their unique idea of the zero-pods.
Moreover, just like Lewis Hamilton said, they still “have a mountain to climb.” There are things needed to be done with the W14. Besides, Andrew Shovlin too announced that Mercedes is coming with a different concept in the upcoming weekends. What are the options available with Mercedes? Let’s read out what Shovlin explains about the different ideas Mercedes is working on.
Andrew Shovlin Explains The Different Concepts Mercedes May Rely Upon
The technical engineering chief of the Brackley-based team spoke to the Sky Sports F1 and explained, “For concepts, we will look at where Mercedes is this weekend. We’ll look at where we are in the early races.” And for the evolutions, he said, “We have sidepod designs that Mike Elliott talked about last week. This comes with a lot to evaluate.” However, Shovlin admitted that the porpoising was the only issue that held the team back last year and the fact that we have eradicated that from the W14, a lot of development can be brought on.
The process that allows them to look at other cars is already being accepted by Mercedes. With this, the Silver Arrows is trying to take any sort of initiatives that they can apply to the W14. That is constantly happening in a 23-race season.” Now bringing innovations and evolutions in the new car may take them to a better grid. But how will they go ahead with such a low-cost budget?
Well, if you believe in what Andrew Shovlin is saying about the limitations emerging due to low budget, there is a relief with Mercedes. Shovlin does not consider the wind tunnel workings may not demand huge amounts of money. “It is about where you are committing things into production. This affects how fast you can react to the number of developments you might be bringing.”
At present, all that Mercedes is focusing on is understanding the W14 properly. And how to get the most out of it while competing with strong teams like Red Bull, Aston Martin, and Ferrari.