Mercedes introduced the “zero pods” concept as part of their ongoing pursuit of technical innovation in Formula One. It involved altering the shape of the car’s side pods to create a more efficient aerodynamic design. The concept aimed to enhance the car’s performance by optimizing airflow and reducing drag, ultimately contributing to improved speed and handling.
However, the concept was largely flawed in the Mercedes case as it generated no performance at all. The W14 lacked pace as it struggled to stay put with Red Bull’s RB19. As a result, as a part of an upgrade package, the Silver Arrows got rid of the Zeropod concept and installed new side pods. However, it didn’t generate any immediate gains, which raised a lot of doubts over the efficiency of the move.
Mercedes Gambled By Ditching The Zeropod Concept This Season
In the highly competitive landscape of Formula One, even the slightest technological advantage can make a significant difference. Hence, when Mercedes’ zeropod concept didn’t work out, the team decided to get rid of it. However, it did not generate any immediate gains in performance. In fact, the W14 has gotten even slower than before. Having said that, the Silver Arrows knew it coming beforehand. Apparently, Toto Wolff took a gamble by giving up the zerpod’s limited advantage to see what the larger side pods with bring to the table. They needed a different solution to catch up to Red Bull, and getting rid of Zeropod seemed a viable option.
Mike Elliott, Mercedes’ chief technical officer, admitted that the upgrade did not bring lots of extra performance. However, they looked at it as an opportunity to try something different with the hope of gaining a performance advantage in the long term. Mercedes, as a team, always intends to evolve to enhance the machinery’s performance. Elliott also promised that the new version, which will be introduced after the summer break, will be even more efficient. He hopes it gives them the groundwork to develop W15 during the winter break. All things considered, ditching the Zeropod concept was not at all a mistake. While it did not generate any immediate performance gains, the Silver Arrows will definitely benefit from it in the long term. It would be interesting to see what the Brackley-based team comes up with after the summer break.
Lewis Hamilton & Toto Wolff Confirms Return Of Bouncing Issue At Belgian Grand Prix
Meanwhile, Mercedes seemed to be heading backward at the recently concluded Belgian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell complained of extreme bouncing issues. Further, team principal Toto Wolff also confirmed the same and confirmed getting into the depth of it. Wolff suggested that bouncing could have been a side effect of the upgrade package.
But at the same time, the track of Spa is bouncy, and almost every other team struggled with the same issue. George Russell resonated with the same feeling as he said that everyone in the paddock complained of bouncing. It’s just that in Mercedes’s case, the intensity was relatively higher. Having said that, Toto Wolff has promised to resolve the issue after retrieving enough data.