Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes are planning radical changes to their F1 2023 car after just one race as they look to keep up with Red Bull
- Mercedes want to make significant changes to their car after just one race
- Lewis Hamilton finished in sixth place in opening race of the season in Bahrain
- Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is eager for his team to produce a radical new design
Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes are planning significant changes to their F1 2023 car after just one race.
Hamilton finished in sixth place in the opening race in Bahrain, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen coming first.
Mercedes’ W14 design is an improved version of their design from last season, which was problematic throughout the campaign.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is eager for his team to produce a new design following the disappointment at Bahrain.
There are questions over the ‘zero-sidepod’ design.
Mercedes are planning significant changes to their F1 2023 car after just one race
Lewis Hamilton was left frustrated as he finished in sixth place in the opening race in Bahrain
Last season Mercedes missed out on the Constructors’ Championship as they finished third behind Red Bull and Ferrari, and they are determined to give themselves the best possible chance of glory this time around.
Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin stated that there will be ‘visible changes’ on the car, which is also driven by George Russell, over the next few races.
Speaking to Formula1.com, Shovlin said: ‘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.
‘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.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is eager for his team to produce a new design after recent struggles
Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said there will be ‘visible changes’ on the car over the next few races
‘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.’
Shovlin admitted that Mercedes have a lot of work to do and discussed the issue of tyre degradation.
He said: ‘Ultimately, we’ve got a lot of work to do. That gap in qualifying was quite large; we were over half a second to the front. In the race that was even bigger.
‘That was compounded by the fact that when you get the tyre degradation, you get a bit more sliding, the tyres run hotter, and you end up finding it very difficult to keep them under any kind of control.
‘There is a lot that we need to understand but the key things are really getting on top of that long run degradation, which last year was a strong point for us.
‘Clearly, we’ve got something that’s not in the right place that we need to work on, but ultimately the other thing is that performance gap to the front. The raw pace of the car is not good enough.
‘We are working very hard at the moment to understand what we can do in the short-term future and in the mid-term future to try and get ourselves in a better place.’
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