The design approach taken by Mercedes during pre-season testing in Bahrain was one of the most radical ideas on the starting grid. Obviously, it was the sidepod of the W13 and the “zeropod” concept with hardly any sidepods surprised the rival teams.
However, the W13 did not live up to the expectations of the Mercedes F1 team, which won eight consecutive constructors’ championships, and struggled with one of the worst cases of overtaking / rebounding on the grid.
“It has been a very interesting journey,” Andrew Shovlin said in a recent interview.
“I think we were overly optimistic about where we thought we could drive the car.”
“The car we assembled had a lot of downforce close to the ground, so there were a lot of problems actually getting the car out on the track.
“We are not where we would like to be, but the direction of travel seems fine, so we are working hard to improve it.”
The performance improvement of the Mercedes W13 will be a key topic for the 2022 season, as it gradually approaches the top positions of Red Bull and Ferrari.
The car proved more suitable for high downforce circuits like Budapest and Zandvoort, compared to low downforce / high speed circuits like Spa-Francorchamps and Monza.
“The spa was very interesting,” Shovlin added.
“It was very difficult at the time, but it is often said that the worst weekends are the ones where you learn the most.”
“What we have learned shows which parts of the car we need to develop in the future.”
“At Zandvoort we expected to be more competitive, so it was encouraging that it worked. It’s rooted in the way it works.”