Toto Wolff says Mercedes will copy Red Bull and Aston Martin after Lewis Hamilton disagreement

Mercedes are expected to introduce a new concept at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed that seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton was sceptical about the Germans designing the W14 with the ‘zero sidepods’ concept, with the 38-year-old having offered a “different idea”.

After opting to “remain faithful” to the concept they introduced at the start of the new aerodynamic regulations, Hamilton’s idea was rejected by the Silver Arrows, with the ‘zero sidepods’ having been trialled once again.

In somewhat identical fashion to 2022, Mercedes’ concept has once again been the team’s biggest issue this season, to the point where a new concept is going to be introduced by the Brackley-based team.

It’s expected that the team’s ‘B’ car will be used from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix onwards, with the revolutionary sidepod design set to be scrapped.

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Despite not being happy with the W14, Mercedes did enjoy their best weekend of the season at the Australian Grand Prix, after George Russell and Hamilton qualified second and third.

Whilst in the race Russell retired with a sudden power unit failure, Hamilton went on to finish second, securing his and the team’s first podium of the 2023 F1 season.

As good as this result was, though, Mercedes are determined to not fall into the same trap as last season, which occurred after Russell won the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Following on from Russell’s win in Brazil, Mercedes grew in belief that their concept was the way forward, a call they now recognise as being incorrect.

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Despite this, Hamilton seemingly knew that sticking with their concept from 2022 wasn’t the right strategy to catch Red Bull, something which has been proven by the Austrians immense pace so far this season.

“Lewis had a different idea,” Wolff said. “But in the end, we all decided together to remain faithful to this concept, encouraged by the good results at the end of last year.

READ: Lewis Hamilton will retire if Mercedes ‘B’ car doesn’t let him fight Max Verstappen

“We did everything to make our concept work because, based on our data, it should have worked. But now we have confirmed that we were simply wrong.

“The two fastest cars of us [Aston Martin and Red Bull] generate downforce in a similar way and look very different from the W14.

“Our aim is to make the right decisions for the long term. For now, we’ll run with the best possible package we can handle. Whether or not you have tight bellies is irrelevant. We just need more downforce.”