‘It’s a Red Bull copy!’: Toto Wolff offered solution to end Mercedes’ woes

Mercedes look like the fourth fastest team on the grid so far this year, falling behind Aston Martin in the pecking order.

Now is not a good time to be a Mercedes fan, as the team have once again got their design concept wrong, leaving them lagging behind their rivals for a second season in a row.

After the failures of the W13, this season’s car was expected to look radically different, but this was not the case.

The W14 still sports the zero sidepod design, unlike Red Bull and Ferrari who have both gone for a much larger and detailed design.

While Mercedes have stuck with their concept, Aston Martin have decided to take inspiration from Red Bull and copy their sidepod design, a decision which has rewarded the team with a podium at the opening race in Bahrain.

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has admitted that after only one race, the team have made a mistake and must change their approach to the W14’s development.

Sky Sports pundit Ted Kravitz has urged the Silver Arrows to follow Aston Martin’s example and copy Red Bull’s concept, with the Silverstone-based team having exactly the same engine as Mercedes, proving that the car design is the difference between the two teams.

“Mercedes changed their concept over the winter. Their concept last year was to get the car as low as possible. Then they had the dreaded porpoising so the whole of 2022 was written off,” explained Kravitz.

“They changed concept: ‘Let’s run the car up a bit, let’s keep the sidepods because we think aerodynamically they are good’.

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“This concept hasn’t worked. So they are going to try concept three! The third concept in two-and-a-half years.

“That is essentially to do what Aston Martin have done. Toto is clear: ‘There is nothing wrong with our power unit, there is nothing wrong with our rear suspension, there is nothing wrong with the gear box’.

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“All of which are on the Aston. Look at the Aston, it’s a Red Bull copy! More of less. That’s what Mercedes will have to do.”

While Toto Wolff has admitted that Mercedes will explore a different pathway from now on, he stopped short of confirming that his team will ditch their zero sidepod approach.

Unfortunately for the team, judging by the performance of their rivals, this may be the only way to return to winning ways in the current era of Formula 1.