Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will get behind the wheel of a “different” Mercedes design in 2023, according to technical director Mike Elliott. The Silver Arrows have hinted all season they were set to change their troubled concept after a difficult season.
However, Elliott has now confirmed next year’s package will “look different” as the team try to close the gap to Ferrari and Red Bull. According to The Race, Elliott said: “You’ve got to look and say we’ve got two fantastic competitors, a lot of good competitors, but two very strong ones in Ferrari and Red Bull.
“We need to go into the winter and do a good job and that’s the only way we’ll get on par with them and hopefully beat them. [Next year’s car] will look different, I’m not going to say why but it will look different.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has also suggested the car’s concept will be different going forwards.
He added: “I think the DNA of the car is going to change for next year, that’s clear. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the bodywork is going to look very different.
“But certainly, what is part of the DNA of the car, will change for next year.” Mercedes’ new upgrades for the United States and Mexican Grand Prix did bring them a step closer with Hamilton close to battling for victory with Max Verstappen at both races.
However, the team have suggested a new design could be on the cards throughout 2022 as their drivers continue to struggle. Asked if Mercedes could change their design after the Italian Grand Prix, Russell claimed that “nothing’s off the table”.
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He stressed that it was “not off the cards” that the German manufacturer could completely change its philosophy. At the Belgian Grand Prix, Hamilton claimed he “definitely won’t miss” his current car at the end of the year as their rivals were in a “different league”.
Mercedes have even hinted they could copy their rival’s designs in a bid to close the gap to the frontrunners. Speaking in September, trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin confirmed the team were considering other team’s ideas.
He commented: “You’d always say that the fastest car is the one that’s got the best concept, so, you know, today that’s going to be Red Bull. Where that goes into next year it’s difficult to say. Certainly we, as a team, have not fixed what our car is going to look like.”
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