Mercedes to abandon the “zero sidepods” style in 2023?

Mercedes has studied a Mercedes W13 with an extreme concept in the sidepods, with a wider radiator inlet in the lower part, favoring the passage in the upper part and with a volume that immediately closes in the rear, creating very short and extreme sidepods.
This solution also has the unprecedented shape of the exposed side impact structure, and suitably faired to form an airfoil. This concept has in fact proved to be a failure with respect to the Ferrari and Red Bull philosophies. The simulations obtained at the factory did not match the results on the track, and other teams have abandoned this concept to adopt the aerodynamic shapes of the Red Bull, with long sides with a large channel at the top of the floor.


I have doubts that Mercedes on the W14 could adopt a shape similar to Red Bull (Ferrari design the discard because the layout of the Mercedes engine is not ideal to adopt that body). McLaren and Williams have spent resources to revolutionize sidepods over the course of 2022, while Mercedes has continued to hold onto zero-sidepods, insisting on trying to fully understand how to extract potential from this W13.
From what we saw in 2022 it seems clear that the Red Bull concept is the one that works best on ground-effect single-seaters.

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