Amid Doubts with the new W14, Mercedes Prepares Plan B for F1 2023 season
Mercedes appears to be taking a significant risk with their F1 budget due to the limits imposed by the budget cap on teams’ car development throughout the season. Despite deciding to retain their bold ‘zeropod’ design for the W14 car this year, the team reportedly has a backup “Plan B”car design waiting in the wings.
After struggling in the 2022 season, during which their W13 car was unable to compete for regular victories, Mercedes is eager to make a strong comeback. The team’s chiefs believe that their aerodynamic design, which features no sidepods and diverges from the rest of the grid, was not the root of the issue. Consequently, they have decided to stick with the design for the W14, with a few minor adjustments.
According to Sky Sports’ Ted Kravitz, Mercedes is developing a backup concept for the 2023 F1 season in case their current unique ‘zero sidepod’ design fails to deliver. The team’s eight-time F1 constructors’ world championship winning car features slim sideboards and the team has hinted at plans to revise this concept during the upcoming season.
Kravitz claims that Mercedes is also developing a backup concept similar to that used by Red Bull and Ferrari, which could be deployed mid-season if necessary.
Kravitz believes that Mercedes is giving their current design “one more go,” but they have a ‘Plan B’ car in production in case their unique concept does not work. However, Mercedes is still convinced that their current approach is the way to go aerodynamically, and most of the downforce is generated by the floor.
They are hoping to address the performance issues they experienced in 2022, but if they do not win three or four races in the upcoming season, they would be disappointed.
Former F1 world champion Jenson Button expressed surprise that Mercedes did not change their sidepods during the off-season, but Kravitz believes that the team has more developments coming online, and they think they will work.
Despite the potential for a backup concept, Mercedes is sticking to their guns for the time being and believes they have a proper handle on what went wrong last year. However, they are keeping their options open and may switch to ‘Plan B’ mid-season if needed.
Hamilton Targets W13 Strengths in Mercedes’ 2023 F1 Challenge
Following a difficult 2022 season for Mercedes, in which the team fell behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, Lewis Hamilton has identified two key strengths of their W13 car that he would like to see carried over to their new W14 challenger.
Speaking ahead of the 2023 season, Hamilton, who is aiming to win his eighth drivers’ crown, stated that he hopes to maintain the team’s strong long-run pace and reliability.
However, Hamilton also emphasized that the team is focused on reinventing and redesigning other aspects of the car to make it more efficient.
He expressed full confidence in the team’s ability to return to competitiveness and stated that there is a strategy and plan in place.
While the team’s performance limitations will only become apparent when the car is on the road, Hamilton is confident that the team will be able to deal with any issues that arise.
With two strong drivers with similar driving styles, Hamilton believes that any issues will become apparent quickly and that the team will be able to address them accordingly.
Overall, Hamilton is excited for the upcoming season and trusts in the team’s ability to develop a competitive car.
Mercedes Displays W13 Car as Symbol of Boldness and Courage
Despite the difficulties faced during the 2022 season, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has decided to place the W13 car in the lobby of the team’s headquarters in Brackley.
While the car serves as a reminder not to rest on their laurels, Wolff believes it also represents a symbol of boldness and courage for the team.
The decision to take a radical design direction last year was a calculated risk that did not work out, but it demonstrates the team’s willingness to take bold steps and cope with success and failure. For Wolff, it is important to maintain this mindset and continue taking calculated risks in order to stay competitive.
Reflecting on the difficulties of the previous season, Wolff notes that every successful team will eventually face challenges.
However, the hardships experienced in 2022 helped the team grow and reinforced their values and mindset. Despite the challenges, the team stuck together, worked through the difficulties, and remained motivated, which gives Wolff confidence in their ability to continue growing and developing as a team.
Mercedes Team Boss Wolff Confident Amid Upcoming F1 Challenges
In a recent interview with F1Lead.com, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has expressed his belief that the upcoming F1 season will be a challenging one for the team.
Despite this, he remains hopeful of achieving success and has stated that the team has retained the good parts of their car, while making adjustments to the problematic areas.
The team has updated the car and attempted to minimize bouncing, which was a noticeable issue with their previous car, the W13.
Another notable change to the new car is its black color, which Wolff has stated is mainly due to weight loss.
The W14’s carbon material is visible without paint, making it lighter than a painted version of the car. However, it is worth noting that Lewis Hamilton has expressed a preference for the original grey color over the new black version.
Wolff has also commented on Hamilton’s performance, stating that he hopes to provide the 38-year-old driver with a more competitive car than last season, so that he can have the opportunity to fight for race wins. Last season, Hamilton struggled at the beginning of the year and finished behind his teammate.
The winter tests, which are taking place this week, will provide an indication of how competitive the new car will be in the upcoming season. It is currently unknown when both Mercedes drivers will step into the black car.
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