George Russell says Mercedes’ 2023 car will be “an evolution” of the W13

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

George Russell says “it’s not off the cards” that Mercedes will continue with its ‘narrow sidepods’ design, or “completely change philosophy”.

At the Bahrain pre-season test Mercedes introduced an innovative ‘narrow sidepods’ design of their car. However, the car’s performance turned out to be not what the team had hoped for.

This caused many to question whether Mercedes should completely change its design philosophy for 2023. George Russell says this is yet to be determined.

“I think nothing’s off the table,” the Briton said.

“For sure we’ve got a pretty unique design with the sidepods. It’s not off the cards that we will continue with that design, but it is equally not off the cars that we will completely change philosophy.

“But ultimately whether we have the wide sidepods or the narrow sidepods that isn’t the performance differentiator, there is more to it.”

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However, George said that, with the technical regulations in 2023 remaining pretty much the same, next year’s challenger will be an evolution of the W13.

“I think we understand exactly why at circuits like Zandvoort and Budapest, why we were competitive, and we understand why at circuits like [Monza] and Spa we were uncompetitive. That doesn’t mean that we can solve the issues overnight.

“But we’ve got to keep on developing this car and next year will sort of be an evolution of this.

“And I think now we do have a totally clear direction of how to develop the car,” Russell concluded.

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