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Mercedes trying to explore new concepts for the 2023 season

Mercedes 2023, Six Sports

Mercedes trackside engineer Andrew Shovlin has admitted that Mercedes is still looking into different sidepod concepts for the 2023 season.

Mercedes has struggled to keep up with Red Bull and Ferrari this season. The Brackley-based squad opted for an aggressive sidepod design termed the “zero-pod”. They did all but eradicate the sidepod itself coming up with a unique concept.

However, the concept failed to yield the results they wanted. The team suffered from a lack of performance throughout the season and was always off-pace than Ferrari and Red Bull.

They can continue with this design for 2023. However, this can cost them again so they can also try a new design – the one which is more similar to Red Bull.

Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Shovlin admits that the team is looking at the options and are yet to make a call:

“I think the rules do change for next year, that’s going to change how people are looking at developing their car,”

he said.

“You’d always say that the fastest car is the one that’s got the best concept, so, you know, today that’s going to be Red Bull. Where that goes into next year it’s difficult to say.

“Certainly we, as a team, have not fixed what our car is going to look like. We’re still exploring different concepts.

“That process will go on for some time, but we’re just looking for what will give us the best development opportunity in those new regulations going forward.”

Let’s see if Mercedes can produce a car challenging enough in front for the 2023 season.

Red Bull believes their design to be the ‘entire package’

While Red Bull technical director Pierre Waché denied agreeing that the team’s design is the best, he does think it to be the “entire package”.

“I am not sure it’s the best or worst concept,”

he said.

“I think it is just one part of the puzzle, this kind of sidepod aspect, the invisible part.

“And for sure if you develop your car around a certain concept, if you change it, it will be difficult to find the benefit of it.

“I think you have to be very open minded on how you see the car and the concept of the car for the future. As Andrew mentioned, you know, the rules are changing next year.

“I’m not sure that everybody will converge to one, it’s more how you see the new rules, how you try to sort out and what you try to achieve with a concept.

“It’s one part of it. And then how make the floor around the car, the sidepod, after a certain level, how to try to fix or try to direct the flow.”

Best or not Red Bull has surely come on top in comparison to its rivals. The team is leading the constructors’ standings with 545 points – 139 up on Ferrari who is in second.

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