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Mercedes on why they don't want Red Bull's sidepods

Mercedes on why they don't want Red Bull's sidepods

03-03-2023 13:55 Last update: 15:26


Speaking to Sky, Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes' technical boss, looked back on the performance of 'his' W-14 during the first free practice session in Bahrain. The British engineer had hoped the car would respond better to the new tyres.

The Mercedes also seemed slower than the two Red Bulls during the first free practice, Shovlin can agree. "We knew we would be a bit behind Red Bull. We knew we were a bit behind Red Bull. First run was kind of expected, second run on the new tyres we didn't find a lot so we need to dig into that now. I thought we would've gained a bit there."

For now, the new rear wing that Mercedes brought along this weekend has not been able to close the gap. "It [the new rear wing] looks fine aerodynamically. We would've liked to have had that [rear wing] last week but it was all in production. They did a good job of getting them here for this race and we'll stay with that for this weekend."

The unusual concept of the W-14

The German racing team surprised many in the paddock when they presented their w-14. Despite the very disappointing 2022, Mercedes stuck to the revolutionary concept without sidepods. Will that change? "The big thing is we've got rid of the bouncing so we are able to run the car where we want to. It's much smoother than last year. We are still working on the balance, it's not where we need it. There's more to do. Sidepods are a similar theme. If you go and copy someone else, you go backwards before you go forwards. In terms of the concept, we will look at where we are in the early races. We have evolutions in terms of sidepod design coming. There's a lot we need to evaluate anyway."