Welcome at RacingNews365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
Sign in

How Mercedes' developments point to their 2023 design philosophy

Teams may be slowing down their updates in the tail-end of the season, but what can we tell from Mercedes' developments in recent weeks? RacingNews365's technical expert Paolo Filisetti explains...

In the last few races, we have had the opportunity to analyse the performance of the Mercedes W13, which is definitely much improved compared to the car they had for most of the season. It seemed undeniable that on certain tracks, and more specifically in Austin and Mexico, the W13 reduced the gap to Ferrari, almost suggesting that these performances may be sufficient to jeopardize the Scuderia's hold on second place in the Constructors' Championship. At the same time, deepening the question, we expressed our conviction that the performances shown, in large part, were track related. In other words, induced by the specific characteristics of the circuits. Nevertheless, this weekend in Brazil, eyes are on the W13 to underline their improvements, also to provide certainty in terms of the directions followed in the development of the car, in particular for 2023.

The latest races, in fact, have highlighted how much some minor aerodynamic developments are a kind of pointer towards next year's car. These are details that cannot be underestimated, particularly when defining the evolution to the W14 project. The first version of their updated front wing, seen in Austin, had been declared illegal, but it was interesting to note how the updated front wing, which arrived in Mexico, followed an even greater 'outwash' philosophy. This philosophy is trying to separate the outgoing turbulence from the underlying flow, which is directed to the Venturi channels. The latter, legal wing in Mexico was accompanied by a modification at the level of the leading edge and side barge boards, to make them functional to the next car concept. The general layout of the project, in fact, points to the W14 following the path traced by the [Red Bull] RB18, with sloping sidepods and a front section very similar to that of Milton Keynes's car. In short, Mercedes, in the second part of this season, has not pulled the brake on developments at all. On the contrary, it seems correct to argue that it has accelerated the debut of crucial solutions, which we will see next year, without neglecting the details.