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Mercedes tech chief planning 'radical' changes to W14 this season

Mercedes have reiterated their plan to bring drastic updates to the W14, and clarified their plan to bring updated sidepods to the car.

Russell Bahrain
To news overview © XPBimages

Even before Mercedes had a completed a lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix, team boss Toto Wolff had confirmed to media that the team had taken the wrong design direction with their 2023 car.

This damning verdict was backed up by a disappointing race for the team, where Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished over 50 seconds away from race winner Max Verstappen.

Wolff labelled the race as 'one of Mercedes' worst days' and Russell called for the team to sacrifice the season in order to completely redesign the car.

The desire for change has now been backed up by Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin, who reiterated their desire to bring heavily-revised sidepods in the coming races, along with "radical" updates in the future.

"People have tended to use the word concept when they mean the sidepod design and Toto had said recently that we are looking at a revision that is going to come along in the next few races anyway," confirmed Shovlin in Mercedes' race debrief video.

"Given the gap to the front of course we are going to look at bigger departures and more radical changes. But those changes take time to turn into a faster solution in the wind tunnel - you can’t do them over night.

"There is quite a lot of development that you’ve got to do around any sort of big change in geometry in that area.

"Of course, we are looking at where we can improve the car, we are looking for potential to develop and you will see visible changes coming on the car over the next few races."


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