Mercedes does not rule out a return to the idea of ​​an older car, despite Lewis Hamilton’s claim that the team did not advance

Mercedes does not rule out a return to the idea of ​​an older car, despite Lewis Hamilton's claim that the team did not advance

After the world champions’ continuous troubles in 2022, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff is not ruling out reverting to an older car idea that is “far slower on paper.”

Mercedes had an initially promising but ultimately disappointing weekend in Miami, starting F1’s newest event by topping the timesheets in Friday practice but then falling back after subtle car changes for qualifying and the race, with George Russell and Hamilton eventually finishing fifth and sixth.

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton claims that the current W13 car has not improved since the start of the season, despite five races of data and fresh modifications for the Miami GP.

The team’s biggest issue is the violent bouncing of their car on track, which is not reflecting in their simulations. The difficulties have led to Wolff being questioned on whether the team should return to a previous design, with the car concept that Mercedes initially debuted in 2022 in Barcelona testing having appeared much more consistent with its pace compared to the ‘no-sidepod’ look the team debuted for the next test in Bahrain and have kept ever since.

But he also didn’t rule out a switch at some point.

On Sunday night after the Miami race, Wolff said the Barcelona car was “clearly much slower on paper” as he insisted: “We need to find out how we can make the current car work predictably for the drivers.”

“I wouldn’t discount anything,” the Mercedes team principal explained. “But we need to give all of our people that have produced great race cars in the past the benefit of the doubt and we believe this is the route to go.”

Wolff said Mercedes haven’t experienced these correlation issues with any of their title-winning cars before but added: “We are faithful to the current concept.

“We’re not looking at the lady next door if we like it more or not, because it’s still good. We need to understand, before we make a decision on another concept – where did this one go wrong? And what is the goodness of the concept and what is the badness of the concept?” Hamilton: We haven’t improved | Russell keeping faith
Hamilton had another frustrating weekend in Miami, having been comfortably the faster Merc car before an unfortunately-timed Safety Car eventually led to him finishing behind young team-mate Russell for the fourth race in a row.

Hamilton is also impatient waiting for Mercedes’ car improvements. He insisted that despite updates, including a new front wing, in Miami, the W13 hasn’t got any faster all year. That’s in contrast to Red Bull and Ferrari, who continue to improve out in front. Asked if Mercedes had taken a step forward in Miami, Hamilton said: “Unfortunately not.

“We’re the same speed as we were in the first race and we just haven’t improved in these five races. “But I’m hopeful at some stage we will. We just have to keep trying and keep working hard.”

“I think we can find chunks and chunks and chunks of lap time if we just find that killer key to get it in that perfect spot. “I am not sure if that will be next race but the guys are working day and night back at the factory to find the solution and we all believe we can so we have got to stick to our guns, keep pushing down this direction and it is going to be a number of races before we say we need to go a different way, but I believe in them.”

“We showed on Friday we have a fast car, there is a fast car there and I have total faith and confidence it is in there somewhere and we just need to understand how to unlock it,” he told. Russell, meanwhile, echoed Wolff’s sentiment on having faith in the current car concept.

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