Mercedes still can’t find the way of getting their car to perform as it did in the second half of last season, when they were regular Grand Prix winners and were the Constructors’ champion in Formula 1.
Despite the consistency of George Russell, who has made the top five in every race, Mercedes have not yet won a race this season.
They can see how the Constructors’ Championship is slipping away from them little by little, because their car is not up to the level of Red Bull or Ferrari.
What’s more, Lewis Hamilton has been complaining about the performance day in, day out.
Could Mercedes change the car?
That’s why the German team are no longer ruling anything out, even possibly changing the risky sidepod-less car concept with which they surprised the world when they unveiled their vehicle for 2022: the W13.
“We have to look in the mirror. At the moment we are sticking to the current concept,” Mercedes F1 CEO Toto Wolff said in Miami.
“We are not looking at our neighbours to see if they are prettier or not. Before we can change to another concept, we first have to understand where things are wrong.”
In Florida, the Germans seemed to have reacted in testing and put the recurring porpoising problem behind them, but it all came back to haunt them in the race.
“We have to get the car back to where it was in practice, when we were really competitive. If we can do that, we can have hope again,” Wolff said.
What to do for 2023?
However, Wolff acknowledged that there are doubts at the factory about making such a major change to the machine, and even whether to look ahead to 2023 and write off 2022.
“Clearly it’s a very sensitive concept. At some point, of course, there comes a time when we have to decide what we are going to do next year,” he said.
“But it’s not like it used to be when you could discard one year to concentrate on the next. The rules remain pretty much the same in 2023.”