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Mercedes not ruling out a switch to Red Bull's car concept

Mercedes have been keeping a close eye on their F1 rivals as they think about future updates to the W13 and their 2023 contender.

Hamilton Silverstone
To news overview © XPB

Mercedes are studying Red Bull's car as they ponder their next move under F1's new regulations, Technical Director Mike Elliott has explained.

Amid overhauled regulations, Mercedes went in a different direction to the rest of the F1 pack with a 'sidepod-less' 2022 design, which has suffered from excessive porpoising and bouncing so far this season.

Meanwhile, Red Bull hold a comfortable lead in both championship standings with a package that several teams - including Mercedes-powered Aston Martin and Williams - have moved towards via recent upgrades.

Elliott admits that Mercedes need to have "a level of humility" as they work out the best direction for the W13 and their 2023 car, though feels there is far more to Red Bull's performance than the sidepods on the RB18.

Could Mercedes go in Red Bull's direction?

Speaking to media, including RacingNews365.com, Elliott highlighted the importance of the floor under the 2022 regulations and made clear that Mercedes are considering "all concepts" going forward.

"I think the bodywork bit, the bit that's visibly different, is probably not the key differentiator, if you like – it's the detail in the floor design," he said.

"We've evaluated some concepts in that direction. I'm not going to say which way we're going to go, but we'll look at that.

"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?'"

Next steps for Mercedes as they analyse the competition

Red Bull have introduced several more upgrades to their car for the British Grand Prix weekend, including a revised floor and engine cover.

With this in mind, Elliott went on to explain Mercedes' next steps as they settle on a future development direction.

"I would say that what you try to do is to understand what you think is happening in the flow field, work out what you want to do with the flow field and then develop the bodywork shapes from there," he continued.

"We'll go and look and say, 'What do we think the Red Bull bodywork does and why does it do that?' [It will be] 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.

"Maybe you'll see changes this year, maybe you'll see changes next year, or we'll stick with where we are. They're the questions we're trying to answer."

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