This year’s track has been wildly favorable for the Bulls as they head towards the end of this season with massive leads. The Verstappen-Perez duo has undoubtedly been one of the reasons behind the team’s success. However, this success is hugely accredited to Red Bull engineers, as they are the ones who facilitated the performance of this incredible duo, ending the domination of Mercedes.
Red Bull’s sidepods ensure maximum speed with ultra-aggressive undercuts that direct high-speed airflow to the rear of the car, making it the fastest car on the F1 track. In contrast, Mercedes uses zero-pods that increase air resistance, making the car slower on the straights.
Identifying this issue of Mercedes’ car, the former F1 driver Marc Surer blamed Mercedes for its unsatisfactory performance this season. While this year has been full of surprises from team Horner, it has not been going well for the Silver Arrows. On that note, F1 expert Marc predicted that the next season’s W14 will be a copy of the Bulls’ race-winning downwash sidepods.
The 71-year-old thinks the chassis for this season’s Mercedes was not perfect in any way. But he hopes next year they will get back on their track, adopting reformation that would be similar to Red Bull’s. Marc believes that Mercedes’ experience with the porpoise gave them a tremendous opportunity to learn, which will help them get a better understanding of their issues.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has also agreed that they are open to changes, but it won’t happen this season. This Austrian billionaire believes there was a reason for embracing zero pods that they hoped would give them an advantage over other cars. So, for the W13, they would not make any modifications.
The trackside engineer of Mercedes, Andrew Shovlin, revealed that they are exploring new concepts, and among them Red Bull’s option seems the best, acknowledging that “the fastest car is the one that’s got the best concept.” However, this F1 engineer did not give a decisive answer about what they will be exploring next year.
So, we can surely expect some changes in Mercedes design next year and probably the Silver Arrows would follow the Bulls’ step to reclaim their crown.
But one question still remains: can the Arrows return to their glorious era, even after redesigning their car to match Red Bull’s?