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Mercedes risked development for 2023 season: 'We took a big risk'

Mercedes risked development for 2023 season: 'We took a big risk'

01-11-2022 13:41 Last update: 15:01


Mercedes have sacrificed a lot of time this season to better understand the W13. This has delayed the development of the 2023 car, as the team wanted to improve the current car first. P3 in the constructors' championship would therefore not be a bad thing for Mercedes, as it gives the team more wind tunnel time.

Mercedes started the season well behind Red Bull Racing and Ferrari. Meanwhile, with several updates and the technical directive, the team has moved a lot closer to the RB18, even giving them a chance to beat Ferrari for P2 in the constructors' championship.

However, it has taken a very long time to understand the W13. Toto Wolff would like to get another win this season in Brazil or Abu Dhabi. P2 in the championship would be a reward for all staff, according to the team boss. However, the team's technical department disagrees. According to them, Mercedes would be better off finishing in third position to get more hours in the wind tunnel to further develop the W14.

Mercedes risked the 2023 season

"We risked throwing away a lot of resources, not only economically, to try to understand why the zero-sidepod concept was so fast in the factory, but not on the track", the technical department tells Formu1a.uno. The original plan was to finish understanding the W13 in May, and then focus completely on a different concept for the W14. However, that was postponed to July, as the strides made with the updates were still very small.

"We took a big risk because we wouldn't have started working on the W14 until September if we hadn't found the answers we were looking for." Fortunately, the team managed to find solutions to the W13's problems between May and July. Meanwhile, the team seems to have caught up with Ferrari. In Mexico, Mercedes beat the Italians, although it is expected that this was a one-off performance due to the specific conditions at the high altitude circuit.