Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff seems to have thrown in the towel over Silver Arrow’s Zero Pod concept, admitting he “doesn’t think this package will be competitive”.
Mercedes is the only team that has stuck to the philosophy of narrowing/disappearing sidepods for the new season after Williams ditched that concept midway through 2022.
The team made great progress last year and were able to win the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, but Mercedes fell 0.6 seconds ahead of Red Bull and Max Verstappen in qualifying in Bahrain, with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton 6th and 7th. It was rank. .
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Toto Wolff gave a candid assessment of the situation heading into Sunday’s race. Determine the direction of development you want to pursue in order to be more competitive to win races.
“It’s not like last year to get a lot of podiums and finally get there. and is a necessary decision to make.”
“We got it wrong”
After meeting its development targets over the winter, Mercedes entered the season with an air of optimism that it could pick up where it left off in 2022 and aim for race wins.
But the margins to direct rivals Red Bull and Ferrari made Wolff admit that the team’s concept wasn’t the right one.
“I made a mistake last year and I thought I could fix it by sticking to the concept of this car, but it didn’t work out,” added Wolff.
“We need to switch our focus to what we believe is the right direction. What is missing and therefore the data points this weekend are very important.”
“We’ve seen where the performance is lacking in the GPS, but we’ve seen where it excels, so we need to sort out what it is and that’s why we’ve put a big sidepod on the car. Is it pasting in or is it really subtle that yields performance.. another question.
“Definitely within the group, we embark on uncharted trails.”
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