Mercedes struggled a lot last year with porpoising issues. The drivers suffered bruises and back and neck pain. That’s how much the car was facing a bouncing problem. Moreover, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2022 was the best example of the W13 car with its bouncing problem. It all started after the Silver Arrows adopted the zero-side pod concept.
They thought it might push them in the right direction in the new cost cap era. But it did not go as the German team had hoped for. On the other hand, Mercedes went on to win only a single race in two years. However, the Red Bull boss wonders why the rivals retained the troublesome concept this year.
Christian Horner Admits That Mercedes Surprised Him After Retaining The Zero Side Pod Concept
Recently, in an interview with Autosport, Christian Horner mentioned Toto Wolff trying to be dramatic. Moreover, the Red Bull team principal mentioned the teams that were closest to them last year were Aston Martin and McLaren. But Ferrari and Mercedes really surprised Horner with their packages. Moreover, the Red Bull boss mentioned he didn’t get why Mercedes retained the concept that clearly didn’t work last year. On the other hand, Red Bull expected Ferrari to be very competitive this year. Like last year, the Italian team had a pretty impressive car and as natural evolution, they should have been a tight contender for the title this year.
At least, that’s what Christian Horner predicted. Moreover, Christian Horner said it was the Australian Grand Prix that confirmed, the RB19 package was really a stong one. Horner added after the race in Bahrain, they felt pretty good. But they needed to know if the car was circuit specific or temperature, asphalt and conditions. Later, in Melbourne, Max Verstappen defeated Lewis Hamilton. But Hamilton with Mercedes W14 was able to finish at P2. Then Horner said the team felt that their package was really together.
The Silver Arrows Made A Major Mistake Retaining The Zero Sidepod Concept
Since 2022, the rivals of the Brackley team, Red Bull has been dominating the grid. The German team saw their hegemony end and their rival’s start in 2022. Since last year, Red Bull has won 38 races. It has been an incredible domination. But Mercedes surprised everybody and shocked their fans, especially because they retained the same zero-side pod concept this year. Why on Earth would they do that? Their drivers found it so difficult to drive last year.
But the German team claimed that they have reduced the porpoising issue to a great extent in 2023. However, the W14 car was not good enough. It had so much more problems like in its balance and downforce. Eventually, Mercedes introduced side pods in the Monaco Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton mentioned that it felt much better after adding new side pods. However, it was already too late to change the whole setup of the car. Hence, Mercedes used the rest of the year to learn as much as possible about the car to gather an adequate amount of data.