Are the zero-pod days at Mercedes over?

Are the sero-pod days at Mercedes finally over?

Ever since F1 teams unveiled their challenger for the 2022 season, the W13 with its signature lack of sidepods, the design has faced a lot of questions. Mercedes struggled with aerodynamics throughout the 2022 campaign, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell dealing with “porpoising” on the track.

That led to Team Principal Toto Wolff admitting after last season that the team was “physically wrong”. While Mercedes have bounced back from a rocky start into the 2022 campaign, their 2023 challenger, the W14, has helped the team to an up-and-down start to the year.

After the Miami Grand Prix, the team explained that they were bringing a series of major improvements into their next race. It was supposed to be the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but with the race canceled due to flooding in the region, an upgrade is coming to Monaco for the Monaco Grand Prix.

We finally got our first glimpse of the upgrade, thanks to F1 journalist Albert Fabrega:

As many have noted, the design looks similar to the shape of Red Bull’s RB19. That might not be a bad idea to emulate, considering how dominant Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez have been this season:

F1 Miami Grand Prix

Photo by Michael Potts/BSR Agency/Getty Images

However, Wolff warned on Wednesday that there is no “silver bullet” in F1, and that upgrading is only the first step towards making Hamilton and Russell cars that can challenge up front.

“The revised calendar means Monaco is now the starting point for this season’s European leg,” said Wolff. “This is a unique event but will still provide an opportunity to learn about upgrading to W14 – but we also have to be careful not to draw too many conclusions from this one event. We are introducing the first steps in a new development direction.”

Wolff hoped the upgrade would give Hamilton and Russell a more stable and predictable W14.

“[The upgrades] will not be a silver bullet; from my experience they don’t exist in our sport. We hope this provides drivers with a more stable and predictable platform,” said the team boss. “Then we can build on that over the next few weeks and months.”

“F1 is intense competition and a meritocracy,” he added. “We are not where we want to be but there is no sense of entitlement. It’s just about working hard to take us forward.”

Will the end of the zero-pod design bring about the results Wolff and team want? We’ll find answers to those questions, and more, starting this weekend.

About Kalika Ayuna

Check Also

Daniil Medvedev goes looking for silver linings after his early exit from the French Open RALPH NEWS

Daniil Medvedev arrived in Paris looking to build on his form at the Italian Open, …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.