F1: Mercedes Has Plan B For 2023 Car If It Doesn’t Perform

Feb 28, 2023

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Mercedes retains that the zero side pod concept was not the reason why its 2022 car was not up to the mark, but it does concede that there is a plan B in case even the 2023 car starts poorly.

Mercedes has stuck to its guns and retained the zero side pods concept with its 2023 W14. It is also running right at the edge of weight limits and was forced to adopt the black livery as a big chunk of the body of the car is unpainted to save weight. Mercedes retains that the zero side pod concept was not the reason why its 2022 car was not up to the mark, but it does concede that there is a plan B in case even the 2023 car starts poorly.

Mercedes team boss and team co-owner Toto Wolff had revealed that there were some plans in development which moved the car’s design away from the zero side pod concept and would be more traditional. Sky Sports F1 pundit Ted Kravitz revealed that there is a plan B which is likely what Wolff referred to that veers the development of the W14 away from the zero-side pool concept to something more normal. 

Kravitz added that if this were to happen, it would be something that would be reminiscent of the Red Bull RB18 concept and would happen only during the middle part of the season. Kravitz conceded that if this were to happen, in all likelihood, Mercedes nor its drivers including 7-time world champion Lewis Hamilton would not be competing for the 2023 world championship. 

After a bad start to the 2022 season, in the final quadrant of the season, Mercedes became very competitive and on balance was the 2nd fastest car on the grid with George Russell even winning a race. Hamilton who is searching for his record-breaking 8th world title has already said that he intends to race even beyond the 2023 season. His current contract with Mercedes expires at the end of this year, but Wolff has said that he has started some conversations with the 38-year-old to renew. 

Many believe that Ferrari again will be the prime rival to Red Bull this year. In fact, the belief coming out of Maranello is so positive that people believe that Ferrari could win its first world title in 15 years thanks to it sorting its power unit, refining its aero concept which allowed it 12 pole positions despite a detuned engine in the 2nd leg of the 2022 season and a penalty on Red Bull for violating cost cap regulations. 

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