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Wolff admits Mercedes to change 'DNA' of 2023 F1 car

Mercedes will undergo a change in 2023 as they look to seize their Constructors' crown back from Red Bull after losing it in 2022.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted the team will change the "DNA" of its 2023 Formula 1 car after losing the 2022 titles to Red Bull. The Silver Arrows' period as Constructors' Champions stretching back to 2014 was ended at the United States Grand Prix, as Red Bull clinched their first since 2013 in a trying season for the octuple winners. They are still yet to record a race win in 2022, with just three opportunities left to win with the W13 and thus avoid a first winless season since 2011 and the first ever of Lewis Hamilton's career. But attention is now firmly on the 2023 car after a final upgrade package at Austin, where Hamilton led with just six laps to go before being passed by Max Verstappen.

Wolff on DNA change

Despite Mercedes utilising a unique zero sidepod design in 2022, Wolff is adamant that it is not the cause of the team's slump in performance, instead insisting a design choice in October 2021 with the floor was the root cause. "I think the DNA of the car is going to change for next year – that is clear" he told media, including RacingNews365.com. "It doesn't necessarily mean that the the bodywork is going to look very different, but certainly what is part of the DNA of the car – the architecture will change for next year."

Advantage for 2023

One advantage Mercedes will have in 2023 is more wind tunnel time than Red Bull, as per the sliding scale based on championship positions. Those who finish lower in the standings get more wind tunnel development time, something that helped Red Bull against the team over the technical rule changes between 2021 and 2022. It is something that Wolff calls a "significant disadvantage." "In all of 2021 we were the leading team and then we won the Constructors' Championship," he explained. "So for half of 2022, we had seven per cent less wind tunnel time throughout these 18 months to Red Bull and much less than Ferrari. "Now it will be the other way around – we're going to have 14 per cent more as we finished third – so that over time is exactly what the regulations were designed to do and should give us some potential to eke back some of the advantage [that Red Bull and Ferrari have]."

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