Mercedes 'committed' to current W13 concept despite 'easy route out'

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Toto Wolff says Mercedes remains "committed" to the current W13 design concept as a key moment at the Spanish Grand Prix.

At the last race in Miami, new front, rear and beam wings appeared to see the Brackley-based team take a big step forward as George Russell set the quickest time in Friday practice.

However, on Saturday and Sunday, Mercedes would never repeat that same level of performance as Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished fifth and sixth in the race.

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At the heart of Mercedes' problems has been porpoising, a ground effect phenomenon that sees the car bounce on the straights.

And the blame for that is being placed on the radical 'zeropod' design that was unveiled at the second pre-season test.

“A tour of the cars tells you we have much more floor than others,” team boss Wolff explained via “That also gives a lot more opportunity for an unstable car.

“That’s where our concept diverges [from the rest], but we have to see how we can make this car predictable for the drivers."

This weekend's race in Barcelona could be crucial for the future development of the W13.

This is because Mercedes can compare the current 'zeropod' design to the original sidepod concept which the car had during the first pre-season test at the Spanish track back in March.


But... “We have committed ourselves to the current concept and we have to,” the Austrian added.

“If you don’t believe in it and you also give the other concept a 50 per cent chance, you should switch immediately.

"But we are confident in the current concept.

“It’s clear there’s potential in the car and she’s fast, but we just don’t understand how to unlock the potential,” he said via Motorsport Week.

“It’s a car that is super-difficult to drive and on the edge, dipping in and out of the performance window, more out than in.

“And discussing the data with a scalpel is just a painful process because it takes very long.”


The Mercedes boss did concede, however, that returning to a more conventional sidepod and floor design would be a last resort option.

“I think there is an easy route out and you just say ‘we are not able to generate it over the floor’ and you patch it up, make it stiffer and see where you end up in performance,” he was quoted by GPFans.

“That is probably faster than where we are at now, but we haven’t yet capitulated and gone back to the simpler solutions.”