Mercedes knew limits of W14 F1 automobile idea earlier than Bahrain

The German producer has had a tough begin to the brand new season, with its 2023 F1 challenger proving to be no match for the dominant Pink Bull workforce.

Straight after qualifying for the season-opener in Bahrain, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff stated that the squad had already thrown the towel in on its design idea and would begin work in a very new path.

Whereas his feedback after only a single aggressive session prompted some to recommend the workforce was performing in haste, it has since emerged that Mercedes knew many weeks earlier than that it wanted to do one thing completely different.

Trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has revealed that Mercedes had reached a conclusion concerning the limits of the W14 within the wind tunnel when it realised enhancements weren’t coming as simply because it hoped.

“You possibly can have a look at your growth charges within the wind tunnel, and earlier than we even received to Bahrain, there have been conversations about greater [concept] departures,” defined Shovlin. “That is not it in isolation for this 12 months’s automobile growth, it is one thing we have completed over the course of the final 10 years.

“In the event you’re not discovering the positive factors you want, you make an even bigger change. You discover one other space and sometimes you wish to unlock that.

“That had already occurred earlier than Bahrain. However maybe the urgency to attempt to carry these bits to the monitor has gone up following the early races.”

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photograph by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Photographs

One of many largest adjustments that Mercedes plans to unlock within the early section of this season is a revision to its zeropod idea.

Nevertheless, Shovlin stated the workforce must overhaul different areas of the automobile as nicely if it desires to search out the efficiency wanted to beat Pink Bull.

Requested to make clear what Wolff had meant by a change of idea, Shovlin stated: “Maybe we have adopted the phrase idea to imply sidepod.

“This automobile is an evolution of the automobile that we had final 12 months, and a variety of that’s tied round the place we have got the facet influence construction. So now we’re greater departures as a result of it is evident that this hasn’t given us the efficiency that we would like.

“Saying that, there’s different areas of the automobile that we all know we have to enhance as nicely. It could be very misguided to suppose if we go and put a different-looking sidepod on it, all of that hole goes to fade.

“The truth is that the overwhelming majority of that hole goes to have to come back from different efficiency areas. We have a variety of initiatives for the time being making an attempt to carry efficiency over the subsequent 5 races.”

In addition to the work on the general idea, Mercedes faces a problem in making an attempt to get Lewis Hamilton extra snug with the automobile as he’s scuffling with the dearth of rear-end stability.

Shovlin stated that have been many features of the W14 that wanted to be made higher for each Hamilton and George Russell.

“There’s issues the place the automobile hasn’t gotten entry stability, and meaning they have not actually received the boldness with it,” he stated. “It may be a bit difficult to carry the tyres in, and we’re sliding round an excessive amount of within the excessive velocity.

“We’re taking suggestions from each drivers all through each session, and that is getting fed into the event course of. And, finally, I feel if we enhance the automobile for Lewis, we are going to enhance it for George as nicely.”

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