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Mercedes

Mercedes says there is 'still a void' to fill after Abu Dhabi

While the team enjoyed a resurgence in form towards the end of 2022, Mercedes Motorsport Strategy Director James Vowles believes the team is still understanding the W13's foibles.

Hamilton Abu Dhabi
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Mercedes believe there is "still a void to fill" with learnings of the W13 after their performance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The team has enjoyed a recent resurgence at the end of 2022 with competitive races at the US and Mexico, which culminated in their sole win at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

At the start of the season it suffered the most from the porpoising effect and later aerodynamic drag, which affected drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell throughout the season.

While Russell believes the work done to understand the W13's foibles will give them an advantage into 2023, Motorsport Strategy Director James Vowles says the team still has knowledge gaps to understand over the winter break.

“Don’t think you can truly now or even across the winter state that we know everything about the W13," he said on their strategy video.

"Across the year we learned and discovered a whole series of new items that really we had to understand and develop very quickly.

"Bahrain we were actually fairly competitive after testing there, but I would definitely say at Melbourne and Imola that first little sequence of the year at normal tracks compared to where we were after the Austin update."

Vowles: Mercedes has confidence

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has been vocal about their struggles throughout the year, but Vowles is upbeat about their chances given the resources the team has to understand their problems.

He added: "The confidence we have is that we now have our tools, our wind tunnel tools, our development tools, our performance tools here in the organisation producing performance which is more than our competitors, it's allowing us to move further forward relative to them.

"There is still a void though and Abu Dhabi really showed that.

“That has to be caught up across the winter and I think we have a very good process and system in place to do that.

"That development that you saw across the season will continue across the winter and I think we will be in a very strong place next year.”

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