Mercedes reveals “a mistake” from 2021 caused their 2022 issues

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes’ Technical Director Mike Elliott says he can “point to one moment in time last year where we did something where I think we made a mistake”.

During his appearance on F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, Mercedes’ Mike Elliott revealed that the team made a mistake last year, which is the root cause of their 2022 performance issues.

“You look at how we developed the car, and I can point to one moment in time last year where we did something where I think we made a mistake,” the Briton said.

“What you’re seeing in terms of performance and the way it swings from race to race is a consequence of that, and that’s a mistake we’ve known about for a while.

“It’s something we’ve been correcting and that’s why our performance has gradually got better. But it’s not something we can fully correct for a little while yet, and we will do over the winter.”

Elliott then explained how Mercedes’ innovative ‘zero sidepod’ car concept came about.

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“The aerodynamicists come up with the idea, we take another group of people, generally run by our chief designer, they will go and look for themselves and see if they can shoot it down.

“Before the test, we’d shown it to FIA, we discussed it with them, and their first reaction was: ‘Ah, that’s not what we intended’ and they worked through it as well, [to] see whether they can challenge it.

“When you look at the sidepod, people say: ‘It looks very different, that must work completely different to the rest of the cars,’ and it doesn’t, it’s just a slightly different solution.

“Aerodynamically, I don’t think it’s a massive departure from the other cars, it’s just something that adds a little bit of performance for us,” Elliott concluded.

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