Shovlin says he’d be “surprised if next year’s car looks the same”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin says the team is “looking at combinations of different concepts” for their 2023 car.

Ahead of the French Grand Prix Andrew Shovlin was asked when Mercedes is going to focus on their 2023 car.

“Yeah, I mean, in Formula 1 you never actually draw a line,” the Briton said.

“It’s a gradual blend of resource into W13 drifting downwards and 14 drifting up.

“We’re going to need some clarity on the regulations, whether they’re going to change before you’d make a really big shift. But every team will have started some work on next year.

“The difference for us was the early part of the year was very tough, it wasn’t making a lot of sense and it was really firefighting.

“We’re just starting to get to a stage now where we can get back to what we would call the business-as-usual development. And that’s actually quite exciting.

“There’s a lot of happy people at the factory now that we’re sort of getting into a phase that’s starting to make sense to us. And we’re just using these.

“We need to score points, we need to fight in the championships but the big one is we’ve got to learn to know what we want to do for next year and to try and get the car back to the front.

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Since pre-season testing, there has been a lot of talk about Mercedes’ minimalist sidepods concept for their 2022 car. Shovlin reveals the team has been looking at other teams’ solutions when deciding which direction to go with their 2023 car.

We don’t think that just changing our sidepod will change our competitiveness. We’re certainly not of that mind, nor are we wedded to saying this is how the Mercedes car must look.

“So from the very early part of the year we’re looking at other team’s bodyworks and certainly with a view to next year, looking up and down the grid to see ideas.

“And it may be that we don’t just take another team’s idea. We’re looking at combinations of different concepts.

“But it’s a gradual process, but I think fundamentally our car isn’t going to change appearance massively this season.

“But I’d be surprised if next year’s car looks the same,” Shovlin concluded.

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