"They have let us down this year" - Mercedes boss feels they are not 'completely sure' of car development for 2023 F1 season in SK Exclusive

F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Practice
Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff walks in the Paddock prior to practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 26, 2022 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes the inconsistent performance curve of their car is hampering the development of their 2023 car. The Austrian believes they are uncertain of their car design platform when it comes to developing next season’s car.

Speaking to Sportskeeda at a team media session, Wolff said:

β€œVery much! Because, on one hand, you need to rely on your tools that have won us... have been part of winning 8 constructor titles and 7 driver championships. But they have let us down this year. Our car came out freewheeling basically. And I think we will, we have leaped forward in our learning. But it's still ongoing.”

Asked by Sportskeeda if the contrasting performances on weekends like Spa and Zaandvoort were affecting the development of the 2023 car, Wolff promptly agreed. The Mercedes team principal believes that their current car is not the most stable platform to develop their 2023 car from. The Austrian explained that unlike Red Bull, who have a stable concept to carry forward next year, the Brackley squad has been clueless with their development. This comes given the inconsistent performances of the W13.

Further shedding light on the development for the 2023 car, Wolff said:

β€œSo we are in September now, we aren't completely sure where this is going for next year and it is obviously very much easier if you are Red Bull as you say. Their car is the benchmark at the moment and they continue to develop and even if the returns are diminishing for their project, it's still at least the right slope and this is something that we are not quite yet 100% sure so it's definitely not ideal.”

Mercedes are uncertain of their current concept for 2023

Wolff was uncertain about the direction their 2023 car concept would take and admitted that the team are a bit clueless on the development of their car. The Mercedes team explained that there was a cloud of uncertainty surrounding their design and concept of the 2023 challenger.

Asked by Sportskeeda if they were planning to switch concepts or adopt a new design philosophy for 2023, the Mercedes boss replied:

"The question is what our concept is. Well there are so many factors that influence. Is it what you visually see from the outside? An aero-sidepod concept or is it actually what happens on the floor? And this is the more important part of the car's performance. So there is, I don't know how you say it in English, no holy cows!"
Positive progress. Lots of learnings. Let's keep this momentum going. Onwards to Monza πŸ‘Š

Lewis Hamilton has confirmed in the past that the focus of the team has shifted to their 2023 concept. Given the limited wind tunnel time teams get with the cost caps in place. Their Mercedes W13 might have been a hurdle for the team, but their Dutch GP performance showed a spurt of improvement and glimmer of hope.

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Edited by James Meyers
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