Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are set to drive a completely different car next season as Mercedes admit they will likely run a new concept in 2023. Mercedes head of trackside operations, Andrew Shovlin, has revealed next year’s car is unlikely to look the same as this year’s failed design.
Shovlin stressed the Silver Arrows were now looking at other teams’ machines to get ideas for their own package next season. He said: “We don’t think that just changing our sidepod will change our competitiveness.
“We’re certainly not of that mind. Nor are we wedded to saying this is how the Mercedes car must look. From the very early part of the year we’re looking at other teams’ bodywork and certainly with a view to next year, looking up and down the grid to see ideas.
“And it may be that we don’t just take another team’s idea, we’re looking at combinations of different concepts. But it’s a gradual process. I think fundamentally our car isn’t going to change appearance massively this season but I’d be surprised if next year’s car looks the same.”
It comes after Mercedes have suffered their worst season for a decade with Hamilton and Russell unable to get on term switch the leaders.
Both British stars have picked up a handful of podiums each this season but these have come after taking advantage of errors or failures for Red Bull and Ferrari machines. The car has only looked genuinely competitive at Silverstone, Spain and Austria this season.
Shovlin’s comments are not the first time Mercedes have admitted they may have got their current 2022 car wrong. The German manufacturer revealed as early as the British Grand Prix that it was looking at other concepts to build into next year’s design.
Mike Elliott, Mercedes technical director, claimed the team were looking at Red Bull’s parts among several other squads.
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He explained: “I think we’d be silly not to have a level of humility that you think you’ve potentially got it wrong and you go and look at what everybody else has done. That’s not just the Red Bull concept, that’s looking at all the concepts up and down the grid and saying, ‘What looks interesting and why?”
Elliott added: “We’ll go and look and say, ‘What do we think the Red Bull bodywork does and why does it do that?’ The same for all the other cars up and down the grid, and [we will] see what we can learn from that, see what we can apply.”
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