‘Visible changes’ coming for Mercedes in upcoming races

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‘Visible changes’ coming for Mercedes in upcoming races

Formula 1

‘Visible changes’ coming for Mercedes in upcoming races


Mercedes will have “visible changes” coming to its car in upcoming races after finding itself so far off the pace of Red Bull at the start of the season.

Red Bull dominated the opening round in Bahrain and heads into this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as the clear favorite for victory again, with Ferrari and Aston Martin its nearest challengers. Mercedes stuck with its zero-sidepod approach for 2023 but was unable to maintain a podium challenge at the first race, with team principal Toto Wolff admitting the team got its concept wrong. However, trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin says other work is ongoing that will soon be brought to the car.

“People have tended to use the word concept when they mean the sidepod design and Toto had said recently that we are looking at a revision that is going to come along in the next few races anyway,” Shovlin said.

“Given the gap to the front, of course we are going to look at bigger departures and more radical changes. But those changes take time to turn into a faster solution in the wind tunnel — you can’t do them overnight. There is quite a lot of development that you’ve got to do around any sort of big change in geometry in that area.

“Of course, we are looking at where we can improve the car. We are looking for potential to develop and you will see visible changes coming on the car over the next few races.”

Despite Mercedes being caught out by how far off the pace it was in Bahrain, Shovlin says there was an upside in terms of the reaction to try and turn the situation around.

“I think seeing how well the team is working together. It’s a very difficult start to the year and after the season we had in 2022, we certainly didn’t wish for this sort of challenging start. But everyone’s been very quick to acknowledge that problem. We know that we have a tough journey ahead of us but we are committed to improving the car, to try and get it back to the front.

“The drivers are very much on board with that, and they have been working very well together to try and help us develop and improve the car. It’s nice just to see how everyone is very honest about the challenge that is ahead of us, very humble about where we are and what we need to do to move forward and committed to finding solutions because we are not happy with our current performance.

“We know that’s not good enough, but we will be doing everything we can to improve it.”