Insider: Mercedes ‘will go bust’ due to W13 Barcelona upgrades

Red Bull Racing have been the focus of paddock talk about their spend for 2022. Ferrari’s Mattio Binotti suggested recently their rate of development this year must mean RBR will soon be unable to bring more upgrades to the car. Yet Christian Horner has suggested that the focus for the Milton Keynes team has been on weight reduction and has therefore cost very little.

Further, Adrian Newey is the only F1 designer at present with previous experience of the new ‘ground effect’ aerodynamics and this fact alone shouldn’t be underestimated. Unlike Mercedes, the fundamentals of Red Bulls car design this year is there or thereabouts and may require small tweaks Hewer and there to provide significant improvements for the rest of the season.

The weakness of the Milton Keynes design is in the slow corners where Ferrari have the advantage, but RBR having the quickest car based on fundamental aero design will most probably outweigh this over the course of the season.


Conversely, Mercedes 2022 car design appears to be fundamentally flawed. Yet in Miami the Brackley team brought a raft of upgrades to the car and for FP2 as George Russell topped the time sheets it appeared these improvements were providing a significant step towards taming the W13.

One day later, in qualifying, the W13 looked no better than in Imola. Then in the race Mercedes were way of the pace of the front two protagonists.

“How much have Mercedes spent on this car trying to sort it out?” Tom Clarkson (ex-pit Lane reporter for the BBC and current paddock insider) asked on the F1 Nations Podcast. “At some point, the money is going to run out and they’re gonna have to make a decision on ‘are we gonna switch everything onto the 2023 car?”


Barcelona is D-Day for Mercedes this year.

Their car was as quick as any other in testing at the Circuit de Cataluyna and should they be unable to get proper correlation readings from the base car they started the year with the current upgrades, surely they will need to abandon the W13 concept and throw their resources towards 2023.

Toto Wolff admitted following the Miami GP that they are still in the dark over what works and what doesn’t to improve the Mercedes F1 car.

They can’t keep throwing good money after bad for long because it will begin to hurt their budget for 2023.




11 responses to “Insider: Mercedes ‘will go bust’ due to W13 Barcelona upgrades

  1. I would have reverted to the “old” concept a long time ago.
    Especially with the budget cap you have to be smart with the resources.

      • At least he managed to use correct words throughout his comment. Clearly he knows more about English than you do.

  2. Doing a “Ferrari” (sacrifice a year to develop for next year) is a plausible strategy. It could be a last, all-out, attempt, to give LH his 8th in his last (contractual) year.

    • So where is s the facts about running out of money? Duckey only if Lewis decides to go. Mercedes have made their cars better by him driving. George will be helping as well now. And who will they bring in. Looking at the paddock, some of those drivers could not win no matter what car they have. Maybe it will be an unknown if Lewis does go

      • read carefully what Duckey has written. It doesn’t say anything about replacing LH. It says he thinks just like Ferrari did in 2021. Sacrificing the year to come back strong in 2023 to give LH its 8th WDC title.

  3. The golden child will have a few pound knocking about, he could put his hand in his pocket, for once…..

  4. What a terrible clickbait article with no real substance…

    1. The Miami updates were clearly a standard set of planned “low drag” update and generic front wing improvement that were most likely in the pipeline long before the season even started. Nothing aimed at “fixing the porpoising” or changing their fundamental concept.

    2. They have been pretty clear that they have not just been spending as much cash as possible to “fix the porpoising” or their concept. They have been very clear that they have spent the first load of races collecting data, correlating data and studying what they have and how different setups can impact their concept. This is about the “cheapest” way you can develop a car (using your employee time that is already a planned and predictable cost for your team). It’s the same approach Ferrari has taken to development.

    3. Spain is the first “porpoising update” that Mercedes have brought to the car – and even then, it could easily be a partially pre-planned update as clearly the floor and under-floor were going to be an area of focus for all cars as they’re the most powerful part of these new regs. And it’s coming at a time where most other teams are bringing even bigger, more dramatic aero changes to their cars. So comparatively, they have spent less than a lot of other teams like Red Bull have already and Aston Martin have brought to spain etc. etc. Maybe a little more money than Ferrari has spent, but making it out that Mercedes are “going bust” just because of one update at Barcelona is the biggest load of crap I’ve seen since Mazepin’s driving entered the sport.

  5. From what I have read, heard and been told, no upgrade is going to bring the Mercedes up to the performance of either Ferrari or RBR because the whole car has been designed wrong, from the floor up. Yes any upgrades they add will or should improve the car, but it’s never going to be a champion contending car or even able to out compete the teams above. I agree they should cut their loses and not keep spending money on a car that’s never going to reach the goals they want.
    As for the drivers, it’s clear to see that Russel is able to handling the car better than Hamilton is at the moment, hopefully they can learn of each other and both become better drivers for it.

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