2022 is a year that Mercedes can’t wait to see the back of, with the new aerodynamic era having started in arguably the worst way possible for the Germans.
Despite having spent so much of 2021 developing their car for this season, Mercedes have arguably made a mess of the new aerodynamic regulations, with their results this season evidence of that.
With just six races remaining this season, the defending Constructors’ Champions are still yet to claim their first win of the season, putting an impressive record at serious risk of ending.
The Silver Arrows have managed to win at least one race every season since 2012, with both George Russell or Sir Lewis Hamilton not having much time to extend this streak.
The Dutch Grand Prix was without a doubt the team’s best chance of winning a race yet; however, a late Virtual Safety Car and then an actual Safety Car saw any hopes of tasting victory diminish.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has appeared somewhat optimistic about this weekend’s returning Singapore Grand Prix, a venue which he believes “should suit” the W13.
Russell, on the other hand, is unsure how the car will perform at the Marina Bay Circuit, with their 2022 challenger having struggled at street circuits this season.
The former Williams driver has tipped the United States Grand Prix as the Germans best bet of winning; however, there are still a few races to complete before the championship reaches the Circuit of the Americas.
Whilst the team are continuing to develop the 2022 car in order to step foot on the top step of the podium, rumours of their 2023 challenger named the W14, are starting to circulate.
Many have been wondering if the side who have won the last eight Constructive Championships will design a completely new car for next season, given the number of issues they’ve faced with their revolutionary 2022 design.
According to Sala Stampa Racing, ‘the W14 is expected to be a clear evolution of the W13’, which will ‘probably still see the zero-pod philosophy modified and focused on solving the main problem’.
This ‘main problem’ is undoubtedly the drag issue that has caused the team a number of issues, most notably, porpoising.
The team’s ‘zero-pod’ sidepods whilst being an incredible engineering achievement, have caused a number of issues.
It’s believed that their design has seen the car pushed down by the passing air, which has resulted in the car bouncing when at high speeds.
With less air having passed through the car and the power unit, more has passed around the outside of the W13, generating more force against it.
With this in mind, the site reports that ‘we will see a W14 with a basic idea similar to the current one, but with shapes tending to the horizontal’.
What is meant by ‘horizontal’ is slightly unknown; however, a safe bet would be that Mercedes are set to incorporate a mix of their current slim design with the traditional sidepod look, all of which will be confirmed at pre-season testing next season.
Work is also being reported for the W14’s front and rear wings, with the goal once again being to ‘reduce the drag’.
“Here too we will see an intervention to improve aerodynamics, and above all reduce the drag, especially of the rear.”