Whilst Mercedes have improved throughout the season, 2022 has still been disastrous for the side that have won the last eight Constructors’ Championships.
After all their years of domination, nobody could’ve predicted that the Silver Arrows would be the third best team this year, let alone that they’d still be yet to claim a victory.
Mercedes have just six races left this season to claim a much-needed win, something which is needed in order to extend their record of having won at least one race every season since 2012.
The Germans have come close to the top step, most notably at the Dutch Grand Prix; however, their form has been inconsistent.
The W13 has been a diva for George Russell and Sir Lewis Hamilton, with the car seemingly brilliant at high downforce circuits like Zandvoort, and absolutely woeful at low downforce circuits like Spa.
Their radical design could be a large reason for this, after Mercedes introduced their ‘no sidepods’ sidepods.
Whilst it’s a piece of engineering genius, considering how much air is needed to flow through the car in order to keep the power unit cool, it’s highly likely that the philosophy they built the W13 around has been a starring factor in their early season porpoising issues.
Mercedes suffered from the worst porpoising in the paddock, to the extent where Hamilton suffered from spinal pain at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Whilst the Brackley-based team eventually got on top of their bouncing problem, it cost them valuable development time.
With neither championship being possible for Mercedes, they German’s are already eyeing up a return to the top in 2023.
The team are currently considering their options for next season, with Russell admitting “nothing’s off the table”.
“I think nothing’s off the table,” Russell told Formula1.com.
“For sure we’ve got a pretty unique design with the sidepods. It’s not off the cards that we will continue with that design, but it is equally not off the cards that we will completely change philosophy.
“But ultimately whether we have the wide sidepods or the narrow sidepods that isn’t the performance differentiator, there is more to it.”
Team principal Toto Wolff has explained a number of times this season that the engineers have been unable to understand why the car has been up to two seconds slower than Red Bull at times this season; however, Russell has revealed that the team “understand exactly” now where they need to improve.
“I think we understand exactly why at circuits like Zandvoort and Budapest why we were competitive,” said Russell.
“We understand why at circuits like this [Monza] and Spa we were uncompetitive. That doesn’t mean that we can solve the issues overnight.
“But we’ve got to keep on developing this car and next year will sort of be an evolution of this and I think now we do have a totally clear direction of how to develop the car.”