Suggestions have been made that Mercedes could return to a more conventional sidepod design, with their current configuration seemingly too difficult to optimise.
Speaking to the-race.com, Toto Wolff outlined the team’s position:
“Well, I wouldn’t discount anything, but we need to give all our people who have produced great racecars in the past the benefit of the doubt, and we believe this is the route to go down”.
“I wouldn’t discount anything” seems a concise summary of the issue Mercedes face, as they seem unsure about the correct path to take. However, Wolff insists the W13’s current philosophy is worth pursuing.
As F1 moved into the European season, Mercedes must ask themselves how long they are willing to continue working on this concept, and when they will have to cut their losses and go back to the drawing board:
Barcelona could be crucial for Mercedes, as their persistent correlation issues could be minimised at a track the F1 grid knows all too well.
The next few weeks will be critical, as the time approaches when Meredes will have to make difficult decisions about the medium and long-term direction of their F1 development.
Toto Wolff: “We need to understand – before you make a decision to switch to another concept – where did this one go wrong?
“And that is a question you can only respond to yourself, but I would be asking ourselves to get an answer after Barcelona, because that’s the real correlation we have”.
The Spanish GP, then, will be critical for Mercedes, as the Catalunya circuit can provide the Silver Arrows with much-needed insight into the functionality of the W13.