Akshita Patel

REPORTS: Mercedes To Opt For More Traditional Chassis, Smaller Gearbox In W15!

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, an eight-time constructors champion, hit rock bottom this year as they went winless in the 2023 season. The unprecedented challenges that arose during the 2022 season have only aggravated into 2023. While George Russell pulled off the team’s lone win in 2022, the 2023 season was a complete eye-opener.

After a slow start, which exposed Mercedes’ flaws with regard to car design, fans expected a turnaround after upgrade packages were introduced. However, the team couldn’t produce any significant change in a car that was conceptually flawed. Thus, in 2024, the Brackley-based team aims to revamp the whole structure of the machinery.


Mercedes To Fall Back On Traditional Approach After ‘Zeropod’ Concept Fails!


During the 2022 F1 season test run, Mercedes introduced a car with the ‘zeropod concept,’ which they deemed revolutionary with respect to the future of the sport. However, the concept brought nothing but disaster to the team. The car lacked pace performance and stayed highly unpredictable. The bouncing issue posed a hazard to Lewis Hamilton during the 2022 season. Thus, heading into the 2024 season, the Silver Arrows will try to reverse the mistake. As per FastestPitStop, the Brackley-based team has apparently decided to opt for a more mainstream traditional approach. The sidepods will be back for sure. Additionally, the W15 will have a traditional chassis and potentially a smaller gearbox.

The heavy transmission reportedly caused more drag in W14, which in turn resulted in a performance lap. The chassis design is linked to aerodynamics, a critical aspect of F1 performance. Mercedes’ shift to a more traditional chassis could influence the aerodynamic characteristics of the car. The team intends to seek the optimal balance between downforce and drag, and the revised chassis design may reflect adjustments in this pursuit. Earlier, team principal Toto Wolff also confirmed the revamp of the car design. He said that almost every component of the car is being changed back in the Brackley factory because that is how the team believes they can produce a turnaround. “We are completely moving away from how we laid out the chassis, the weight distribution, the airflow,” said Wolff.

Toto Wolff Unsure Of Concept Revamp Success!

Credit: XPB Images/PA Images

Having said that, the margin of error with respect to concept change is slime, says Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. In an interview, Wolff added that the change in chassis and gearbox could work against the team as well. It could either be a big hit or a brutal miss. “Between not gaining what we expect, catching up and making a big step and competing in the front, everything is possible,” Wolff said.

Regardless, Mercedes lacks options right now. It will take the team more than one winter to reverse the damage the zeropod concept did to the car. All the Silver Arrows can do now is hope for the best. So far, Lewis Hamilton has been making trips to the factory to take stalk of the W15 development. He seems happy with the progress and hopes to see a beast during his next visit after the winter break.