The Brackley team is still looking for its first victory this season, in which it has never been able to snatch wins from Red Bull and Ferrari.
The design of his current car has proven to be less than ideal for the new generation of ground effect single-seaters, lacking performance and consistency and having plenty of porpoising .
Also, his concept of getting most of his downforce as close to the ground as possible doesn’t seem to be the right direction to get the most out of today’s cars.
Mercedes believes it has finally come to understand the cause of its problems, and its work is now focused on ensuring its 2023 F1 car can get back into the fight at the front.
But team principal Toto Wolff says time was wasted earlier in the year when they found that the data coming out of their factory didn’t help them figure out what had gone wrong with the W13’s design.
“We lacked the tools, the simulations and the understanding to figure out the problems we had created with the way the car was developed,” explained Wolff.
“We couldn’t get it to work where we wanted aerodynamically, and mechanically it was never in the sweet spot. It’s taken us months to undo some of the steps we’ve taken.”
“So it’s not that I think we’ve discovered the Holy Grail, that we understand everything, and that it’s going to be a smash hit next year.”
“But now we are in a crucial period: literally in the next one or two months we need, with some precision, to understand what needs to be done for the next year.”
Although Mercedes has not yet achieved the long-awaited victory with the W13, the team believes that in winter it will be able to progress much more than it did during the season.
Lewis Hamilton is confident that the lessons learned by his team this year, along with some advice he is giving himself, will help to make a good step forward for the W14 .
“There is potential in the car,” said the seven-time world champion. “We have downforce, just in some places we’re not able to use it. And ride quality of course is an area we can always improve on. So I’m comfortable with the direction we’re going.”
“I have 1000% (not a hundred, but a thousand) confidence in the guys at the factory, who are putting all these pieces of the puzzle together, and I have no doubt that we will be in a position to fight again next year.”
Mercedes hasn’t ruled out a different concept with its W14 car for 2023, but hasn’t made any definitive decisions on the direction it will take.
Track engineering director Andrew Shovlin said: “It’s always said that the fastest car is the one with the best concept, so today that would be Red Bull. It’s hard to say what will happen next year.” comes”.
“Certainly we as a team haven’t decided what our car is going to look like. We are still exploring different concepts. And that process will continue for a while.”
“But we’re just looking at what’s going to give us the best opportunity to develop with those new rules going forward.”