Toto Wolff comments on Mercedes developing two cars ‘side by side’ in 2023

Mercedes have started the season as the fourth fastest team on the grid, falling behind Aston Martin in the pecking order.

Following the Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes have already realised that their design pathway for this season is a mistake, with the zero sidepod approach being kept by the Silver Arrows this year.

The team believed that this aerodynamic approach was not the main cause of their issues last season, hoping that tweaks and changes over the winter break could take the team back to race winning potential.

Aston Martin use Mercedes engines and look significantly quicker that the Silver Arrows while using Red Bull’s sidepod design, proving that the root of Mercedes’ issues are in their W14 design.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has admitted that his team will now have to develop a completely different style of car if they wish to become competitive this year, suggesting that changing the sidepods may be something that Mercedes have to consider.

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It has been suggested that Mercedes may struggle to develop the W14 and design a different style of car for the future at the same time due to their budget cap restrictions, a claim which Wolff has rejected.

The Austrian has explained that Mercedes will try a different approach on the W14, rather than developing two different designs at the same time.

“It’s extremely difficult to catch such an advantage [to Red Bull], but it’s what we need to do. We have no choice,” said Wolff.

“I’m not sure the budget cap really gives you constraints in the position where we are because we just need to decide which direction we’re going and put all the resources behind it.

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“I don’t think we’re constrained by the budget cap.

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“We’re not going to develop two cars side-by-side, but we’re going to develop one car and we will decide that in the next days and weeks which car that will be.”

Mercedes look to be well over a second slower than Red Bull so far this season, meaning that drastic changes will have to be made if the team wish to compete for race wins this season.

It has been suggested that Mercedes could focus on next season already, giving up on 2023, a claim which Wolff has rejected.