The Mercedes F1 team is in the process of determining the basic “concept” for the 2023 “W14” F1 machine.
The 2023 Formula 1 ‘concept’ is of particular concern to seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, who is almost certainly suffering more from his current single-seater than his new team-mate George Russell is an undeniable fact.
“Development has been going very quickly and right now we are focused on expressing what we expect from next year’s car,” Hamilton said.
Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes F1 team designers have already decided on key components for the car, including the brakes, front suspension and gearbox layout.
But the Mercedes F1 team’s innovative “no side pod” idea hasn’t been followed by more competitive Ferrari and Red Bull, and the basic aero concept has yet to win.
“It’s always been said that the fastest car is the one with the best concept,” said Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes F1 Team Engineering Manager.
“From today it’s Red Bull.”
“It’s hard to say where it will go next year, and we certainly haven’t fixed what our car will look like as a team.”
“We are still exploring different concepts and this process will continue for some time,” Shovlin added.
But Red Bull technical director Pierre Washet has warned that the Mercedes F1 team’s catch-up will not come simply by copying the dominant car’s sidepod concept.
“I don’t know if it’s the best concept or the worst concept. I think it’s just part of the puzzle,” said Pierre Washet.
“It’s true that if you develop a car based on a concept and then modify it, it becomes difficult to see the benefits.”
In general, most insiders agree that the all-new “ground effect” regulations that came into effect this year have improved wheel-to-wheel racing.
However, the goal of making the field more competitive has yet to materialize.
“It will take three to five years before the budget cap actually kicks in,” Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner told Laola1.
“Only then will the teams become more equal. At the moment the economic differences are still too big.”
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