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Mercedes sticks to 2022 concept: 'Would be three steps backwards'

Mercedes sticks to 2022 concept: 'Would be three steps backwards'

16 February - 09:05 Last update: 12:16

Mercedes has presented the W14 for the 2023 Formula 1 season and the design immediately stood out. Indeed, despite the setbacks of 2022, the team has stuck to a similar design. According to Toto Wolff, this was a conscious decision.

For a long time, Mercedes struggled with the new 2022 car. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell complained about the car and especially the bounce on the tarmac. That was resolved during the season, but the car's design seemed far from ideal. Yet the team is sticking to that path in 2023.

Mercedes sticks to design

"Throughout last season we have analysed it back and forth whether it was right or not. You can see the sidepods are different to any other car. But we believe this is not a performance-relative part. We are looking at everything, on the sidepods, this is the first (version of the car)," Wolff told GPblog and others during the press briefing.

Switching to a different concept would not have been so easy for the German racing stable either, according to Wolff. "If you want to change your concept it's not one step back but two or three. That's why we stayed where we are. I love the fact that we are bold, stay bold and we are continuing to follow what the science says for us."

Red Bull in sight?

Mercedes has a gap to close in 2023 with Red Bull Racing and Ferrari, who managed to deliver a better car in 2022. However, Red Bull will suffer from limited time in the wind tunnel to develop the car and Ferrari is in the transition from Mattia Binotto to Frederic Vasseur. However, Wolff does not want to speculate on how competitive they will be.

"I want to say we will be competitive but on the other side we need to stay humble and be realistic. The midway around is that we will be competitive, we just don't know when. We are on the slope that we want to be in terms of our performance. But then you don't know where the other ones are. Humility is important. We have always tried to be humble," the Mercedes team boss concluded.