Mercedes ‘Frankenstein’ warning issued ahead of 2023 Spanish GP

Martin Brundle has given his take on the revamped Mercedes W14 that hit the track around the streets of Monaco after a tough start to the season.

Mercedes have been struggling to get off the mark in the new era of regulations, only securing one win in Brazil last year following the implementation of new designs across the grid.

With the team desperate to find a way to get back in the championship fight, Mercedes brought a host of changes to Monaco, introducing a new floor, altered suspension, fresh rear wing and, most notably, a new approach to their sidepod design.

Hitting the street circuit, Mercedes dropped their zero sidepod concept to replace it with a more conventional design, seeking to close the performance advantage its rivals have enjoyed.

Sky Sports presenter and former Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle has given his take on the ability of the Silver Arrows to take the fight to Red Bull this year, believing that Mercedes might be several races away from seeing the fruit of their labour.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

“My concern is that it’s a complete concept that a car is built around. That car is not going to win too many beauty parades – it’s got a touch of Frankenstein about it. But if they cross the line first they all look beautiful,” Brundle said.

“The team are saying this will enable them to have a new reference point and move forward from there instead of being halfway up a ladder that appears to be going nowhere as we saw in 2022 and so far in 2023. 

“They’re building another ladder that might enable them to climb higher. They had a chance through the winter (to change concept).

“They didn’t want to give up on that (zero-sidepod) concept but finally, they’ve had to accept that it has limited upside the zero-pod design compared to everybody else. They probably should’ve done this in the close season.

Article continues below

“I don’t think we’ll know until we get to Barcelona next week, which is the toughest circuit in the world for a chassis and its aerodynamics, we’ll find out there where Mercedes are at. 

“They’re not really saying we’ve sorted this – they’re saying they’ve gone to a different place and we think it’s a better place to start from to gain some speed and catch Red Bull.”

READ: Alpine team principal fires back at CEO’s criticism after Esteban Ocon podium

Mercedes might have enjoyed their weekend in Monaco, as they managed to close the gap in the Constructors’ Standings to Aston Martin, while extending their lead to Ferrari.

After seeing Lance Stroll suffer a DNF on the streets of Monaco, Mercedes are within 1 point of taking the second spot in the Constructors’ race, an improvement on their finishing position last year.

Unfortunately for Mercedes, the Silver Arrows are going to struggle to catch Red Bull at this rate, with the reigning world champions far ahead of their competitors, holding a 129 point lead.