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Toto Wolff

Mercedes face "difficult" F1 2023 car concept decisions - Wolff

Mercedes are yet to finalise its 2023 F1 car design as they look to avoid the mistakes with the 2022 car.

Toto Wolff
Article
To news overview © XPB

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff had admitted that the team face "difficult" decisions about the Formula 1 car concept it will adopt for 2023.

The eight-time Constructors' Champions are struggling to understand their W13 design for 2022 with large performance swings and tyre warm-up issues in qualifying - having largely got on top of the porpoising issue which hampered the early part of the season.

Although drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been able to score regular podiums, Mercedes are in danger of their first winless season in F1 since 2011 - which could also be the first ever of Hamilton's career.

Mercedes' design is unique with its 'zero sidepod' approach, as convention has drifted towards a Red Bull or Ferrari inspired design, with Wolff saying the team only has a "few weeks" to determine its course for 2023.

Difficult with our concept - Wolff

'It's a very difficult situation because we obviously have a certain concept of a car, and it's not like we can experiment a lot this year [with the budget cap] this year, and just simply dial stuff out," Wolff explained to media including RacingNews365.com.

"Whatever we decide for next year, it needs to be carefully evaluated, because clearly our data doesn't give us the results and doesn't correlate with the reality..

"We have massive swings in performance that we can't really get on top of.

"So in this moment to take a decision for next year, whatever it may be, like changing the concept dramatically, how can you be sure that that's the better direction to go because clearly we'll be starting a little bit way back.

"Now, that is going to be part of the decision. And because the discussions we had already the decisions in the upcoming few weeks of what we want to do about it.

"We haven't committed [to a concept for 2023], there is still internal discussions going on.

"It's quite difficult to say 'What is a concept?'. Is it the chassis in its current shape, the weight distribution. Is it where you put the mechanical and aero balance and the bodywork concept?

"All these different pillars of the car, it could be some of them goes, some of them stay. That's what we're looking at."

Time running out to decide

Wolff also stated that the team was running out of time to decide on its final 2023 concept, with the deadline fast approaching as Mercedes look to bounce back to winning ways with the W14.

"There are various cut-off points relating to the various parts of the car that happen really in the next few weeks," he explained.

"You've got to commit to a chassis concept, suspension layout etc, how you do cooling, radiators and the integration of the engine.

"It's something we need to decide on in the next few weeks."

Wolff gave a timetable of around September or early October for Mercedes to decide, but was adamantly against any further relegation changes to help it.

"The rules are the rules, and I don't want any goalpost moved," he said.

"We just need to get better, meet our own expectations and beat them (Red Bull and Max Verstappen) with their rules."

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