Mercedes will copy Red Bull and Ferrari if initial design fails to deliver

Mercedes introduced the revolutionary 'zero-sidepods' last season but have reportedly developed a 'Plan B' should they decide to ditch the design.

Veteran Sky Sports F1 reporter Ted Kravitz has revealed that Mercedes potentially have a “Plan B” car to introduce mid-season, should their ‘zero-sidepod’ concept fail to deliver results once again as it did last season.

Mercedes, of course, introduced the revolutionary sidepod design at the start of last season; however, it failed to work as they expected.

The design played a role in the team’s porpoising woes; however, they have decided to give the concept “one more go” in 2023.

Mercedes are hoping that by sticking with their revolutionary sidepod design, they’ll finally be able to unlock its full potential, something only time will tell.

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The fact that the Germans have a “Plan B in production” is fascinating, with it suggesting that the team are aware that they could face yet further issues at the start of the forthcoming season.

When the team would decide to switch to their alternative plan remains to be seen, with it likely depending on how well the Silver Arrows start 2023.

Failure simply isn’t an option for Mercedes this season, with their alternative plan hinting that they’re prepared to do whatever it takes to get back to winning ways.

“They’re giving their big idea, that was a failure last year, one more go,” Kravitz told Sky F1 colleague Craig Slater.

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“But I believe they have a ‘Plan B’ in production, and if they need to, they can go to a ‘Plan B’, which is the Red Bull or Ferrari style of doing things, in the middle of the season.

“At the moment they’re saying, look, we think we’ve got a proper handle on what went wrong last year. We still believe that our way is unique in the pit lane and having very slim sideboards is the way to go aerodynamically.

“And anyway, they say most of the downforce is generated by the floor, which you can’t see, but they’re saying don’t expect anything too soon.

“I think if they went away without three or four wins in a season, they’d be disappointed.”

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Mercedes’ backup plan is reportedly due to parts not having been ready for the start of the year, with Kravitz being under the understanding that more developments will come early in the season.

“My reading of that was we’ve [Mercedes] have got more things coming online,” Kravitz added.

“We’ve got developments of the European season and we think they’re going to work, but maybe the figures are very wrong eventually.”