Mercedes has offered an explanation as to how it is approaching the task of changing the concept of its 2023 Formula 1 car.
At the season-opening round in Bahrain earlier this month, team boss Toto Wolff conceded that Mercedes’ core design wouldn’t make it competitive in the future.
The comment came as a blow to the team, who unveiled a unique ‘zero sidepod’ design scheme in 2022, when new technical regulations came into effect.
However, Mercedes has struggled for pace across the last year, taking just one grand prix victory.
As it looks to make changes going forward, Mercedes Technical Director Mike Elliot explained that the term ‘concept change’ does not have a strict definition.
“The simple answer is it means different things to different people,” he said.
“I think after Bahrain we had to accept we weren’t where we wanted to be, so we had to look at all the things that make up our car and work out what could we be doing differently, how could we get more performance because there is a significant gap for us to catch up to the front.
“So, the engineers are busy looking at aerodynamics, they are looking at the shape of the car, things like the sidepod geometry, the floor geometry, have we missed a trick?
“But we are also looking in the simulation world; are we targeting the right things, are we pushing the aerodynamics in the right direction, looking at the mechanical setup of the car.
“Are there things there that we are missing?
“What else can we bring to the car that is going to add performance and we try to do that as fast as we possibly can because we want to get back to the front.
“We want to be competing at the front and the only way we are going to do that is by accepting we are not in the position we want to be and fighting and working really hard to get back there.”
As it aims to recapture the form it held throughout the turbo-hybrid era, Mercedes says that there will be visible changes to its car in the coming races.