Despite Mercedes’ somewhat complicated start to the Formula 1 season, team boss Toto Wolff remains convinced that the unusual ‘zeropod’ concept adopted by the German team is the right one and that the results will eventually come, and their W13 car will race at the front this season.
The change in regulations has upset the hierarchy that had been in place for the better part of a decade of Mercedes dominance. Ferrari is back at the front and battling Red Bull in the title race, while Mercedes no longer has the best car in the field for the first time since 2014. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are on the back foot and generally fighting for places close to the podium but not for outright wins, yet.
A situation that obviously does not suit Mercedes, however, Toto Wolff assures that the team understands its car better and better and after Miami, he remains confident that they are capable of coming back to fight at the front again during this 2022 Formula 1 season.
“We believe our concept has the potential to allow us to run at the front,” claims Wolff,
“But it’s also a sensitive concept. Once it’s in the window, it can work very well but it’s very difficult to put it in that window, because the floor, obviously, is much more exposed than the other cars without the sidepods,
“We still believe in this direction, that it is the right one, and we will have another set of data to analyse after Miami and in Barcelona that will be good for correlation work against our very first F1 car in the winter testing there,
“Then the time will come when we have to decide what we will do for next year. But it doesn’t work to say that you write off one season and concentrate on the next, because it’s the same regulations. I just think our understanding is growing every day, we’ve already said that Miami is another experimental weekend,” said Toto Wolff.