2022 was truly a miserable season for Mercedes, as the Germans had to watch on as their eight-year reign of being Constructors’ Champions came to an embarrassing end.
The Silver Arrows have been the masters of the hybrid era since 2014 and have always remained on top even following slight regulation changes; however, the new aerodynamic regulations were seemingly a step too far for the Brackley-based team.
What Mercedes attempted with the design philosophy of the W13 was truly staggering; it was arguably a piece of engineering genius.
The paddock watched on as the Germans showed-off their remarkable ‘zero sidepods’, something that had many worried at the start of the year that they’d clear off into the distance once again.
Anything but happened in 2022, as the side suffered from horrific porpoising for the first half of the season and quickly lost ground with both Ferrari and Red Bull.
Mercedes lost half a season’s worth of developments as a result of trying to solve the bouncing phenomena, that was causing Lewis Hamilton and George Russell so many issues.
Whilst they did overcome the issue, the German side left themselves with too much catching up to do, resulting in them claiming third in the Constructors’ Championship.
With the side having had so much catching up to do, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was asked if the team were impacted by the budget cap.
Wolff revealed that the side would’ve still finished third even if they had an unlimited budget, as it “wouldn’t have made a difference”.
“We’re not lacking the capability, or we weren’t lacking any of the tools, nor time,” Wolff said on F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast.
“It was more that we needed to peel off layer by layer in order to get to the ground of the problem. So it wouldn’t have changed anything.”
Mercedes claimed just one victory and one pole position in 2022, both thanks to Russell.
The leading side will be eager to return to the front next season and reclaim their Constructors’ crown from Red Bull, with Wolff revealing that Mercedes are changing the “layout of the car” for 2023.
“We are changing some of the architecture and the layout of the car that should point us in the right direction,” said Wolff.
“But as it is with these new regulations, sometimes you uncover one problem and then you realise there was another underneath.
“We have to stay humble and not feel a sense of entitlement that we’re going to get back into this championship and win straight from the get-go. I’m really looking forward to it.”