MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 05: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff looks on in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 05, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Wolff: Mercedes are “faithful” to current W13 design
This weekend is the Spanish Grand Prix, marking the beginning of the European season of races. Barcelona tends to be the round where teams bring new upgrades, but for Mercedes, will we see the end of the current W13?
Mercedes entered 2022 on the back of another Constructors’ Championship after winning their eighth last year. High hopes surrounded the team, who dominated the hybrid era, as George Russell finally made the leap to the Silver Arrows from Williams. With Russell and Lewis Hamilton as the driver line-up, Mercedes were ready for battle.
However, things haven’t gone quite to plan. The first five rounds of the season have been and gone and Mercedes are currently third in the championship, 62 points behind the leaders Ferrari.
For Russell, 2022 has gotten off to a great start. The young Brit is the only driver to finish in the top five in every race so far, and currently sits fourth in the standings on 59 points. Hamilton, however, has had a difficult season. He is sixth in the championship on 36 points.
The W13 has been one of the more difficult cars to drive this season. With porpoising being a common issue for Mercedes, the team have been trying to solve all issues.
Comments from the team have showed just how much they’re struggling with terms such as “undriveable” being used to describe the car. Russell has gotten to grips with the W13, more so than Hamilton. The former has outdriven the car, pulling the most from its performance. Hamilton hasn’t been as lucky, having struggled more than his teammate.
He has said before that the W13 is “is not far off” his experience with the MP4-24 in 2009. But, he believes the W13 has a lot of potential.
Toto Wolff has also commented on the potential of the car.
Mercedes debuted the W13 back in February at Barcelona. They showcased their unique design of sidepods, having an almost no sidepod concept. The team have a reason for every decision they make, but with the results so far this season, this may not have been the right call.
Wolff admitted a few weeks back, that Mercedes could “cut [their] losses” with the W13 and focus on “next year”. However, heading into Barcelona this weekend, the Team Principal has confirmed the team’s commitment to the current W13.
“We are still committed to the current concept and we need to be, because if we don’t believe and we give the other one a 50 per cent chance, then you better switch now.”
Wolff continued saying that the team are “faithful to the current concept”. He said they “need to understand” what went wrong with this concept before switching to another. The team need to ask “what is the goodness…and what is the badness of the concept”.
“And that is a question you can only respond to yourself, which I would be asking ourselves, to get an answer after Barcelona, because that’s the read correlation we have,” Wolff added. “And by then, we’ve got to look at ourselves in the mirror and say: ‘did we get it wrong or not?'”
Mercedes will be analysing the W13 this weekend and comparing the data to that of pre-season testing in February to see if they’ve improved.
The Spanish Grand Prix is this weekend, May 20-22nd. F1, F2, F3 and W Series will be racing on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Feature Image: GettyImages
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