Mercedes are purportedly set to change their sidepod plan throughout the span of the 2023 F1 season. The Silver Bolts famously stayed with their ‘zero-unit’ plan from last year, which blew some people’s minds in the F1 people group.
Mike Elliott, their technical director, says sidepod upgrades are coming, which should make the team much more competitive in the near future.
In the first practice session of the 2023 Bahrain GP, Mercedes finished 10th and 11th, and they were seen using a newer wing than they did in pre-season testing last weekend.
Although their sidepod upgrade will be novel, Elliott asserts that it will not replicate any of the grid’s other teams. Due to Red Bull’s incredible track success, many teams last year decided to use the sidepod design.
“The Team Principal, Toto Wolff, has already stated that a different bodywork is coming; It won’t be the same as ours or the ones of other people; it will be different. It’s normal for things to change. We are getting a very different sidepod—I say a very different sidepod because it is coming. That was probably said by Toto in the media.
“However, getting that there takes time. We’ll bring it as soon as we can because making the parts and fitting the parts that go underneath the bodywork take time.
Based on the results of pre-season testing, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff claims that Red Bull appears to have the upper hand over his team. According to Wolff, the RB19 can accelerate earlier out of corners and brake later when entering them.
The Silver Arrows performed worse than Red Bull during the preseason testing in Bahrain. However, in comparison to the previous year, when their vehicle experienced porpoising issues from the beginning, they have made significant progress.
Red Bull, on the other hand, has developed their already solid foundation this season and has successfully implemented the aerodynamic regulations of 2022.
For the 2023 season, the Austrian team appears to be the leading contender once more. During the pre-season testing weekend and on the first day of the 2023 Bahrain GP, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez set extremely fast lap times.
Wolff stated the following regarding Mercedes’ disadvantages so far in comparison to Red Bull:
“They brake later, accelerate much earlier, and gain a significant amount of time with the better traction, despite being slower when entering corners. The apex is completely missed if we approach the corners in that way.”
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