Mercedes sidepods, Monaco, 2023

Pictures: First look at Mercedes’ major changes to its W14

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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The first images of Mercedes’ upgrade package for its W14 for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix reveal revised sidepods among other changes.

Mercedes had planned to bring major upgrades to the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix last weekend at Imola before the race was cancelled due to the impact of flooding in the region. The team will instead introduce the upgrades this weekend around the slow and tight street circuit.

As expected, the updated W14 features new bodywork which marks a departure from Mercedes’ previous ‘zero sidepod’ concept, a feature of last year’s disappointing W13 design which only won a single race. Other changes introduced to the car for this weekend include a revised floor and modified suspension.

Prior to the weekend, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said that the team’s first major upgrades package of the season would not be a “silver bullet” that would propel them into championship contention. However the team’s engineering director, Andrew Shovlin, said the modifications to the team’s car would mark the “first step” towards addressing the car’s shortcomings.

“We do hope it is quicker, we hope it is better in terms of qualifying and race pace,” said Shovlin.

“We are looking to head off in a different development direction, one that we think gives us a better chance in the long term of being able to challenge for race wins and world championships.”

Mercedes sit third in the constructors’ championship standings with 96 points, six behind their power unit customers Aston Martin. The team has taken just a single podium finish over the first five rounds of the 2023 championship, with Lewis Hamilton securing second place in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne back in early April.

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Pictures: Mercedes Monaco Grand Prix update

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2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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    Will Wood
    Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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    17 comments on “Pictures: First look at Mercedes’ major changes to its W14”

    1. Is that the elusive Black Red Bull ?

      1. if this is the elusive black red bull then you and I are related by virtue of both of us having nostrils

      2. Literally looks nothing like a black Red Bull… are you blind?

      3. Er, what?

      4. No, that’s elusive AM. The half of AM is Merc so they just adjusted the other half and voila!

      5. Nah, it’s the black Aston Martin @carlosdavid!

    2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      25th May 2023, 10:57

      No hubris here from Merc…
      And I have a feeling a Mary Shelley character may have been on the design team.

    3. So low rake, it’s wheelless :(
      TBH going to have to wait until they actually stick all the bits together or there’s a full car photo to get any impression, I can’t do the assemblage in my head (I’m sure others can).

    4. A bit unclear from these photos but it does look more Red Bull/Ferrari like in its design. No surprise there though I think.

    5. Looks like they have gone all in on an anti-dive front suspension. Those suspensions arms are just about protruding from the top.

    6. The suspension looks further forward. Closer to the front wing. Mercedes are still using a push rod system where as Red Bull are using a pull rod system. So they are not copying RBR with suspension.

      1. @Dex, they are copying the Red Bull suspension. They can’t switch from pull rod to pushrod mid-season, but they can, and have, massively increase the amount of anti dive. Look at how much higher the front top wishbone mounts to the chassis, and how much lower that wishbone’s rear mounts to the chassis.

        I was surprised that at the start of this season, Aston Martin was the only team to copy RB’s anti dive geometry from last season. Now the others are learning it’s a good feature. I suspect it’s main benefit is reducing pitching, rather than its direct effect on the airflow.

        1. Anti dive is defined by something called galloping point which relative to CoG makes the car rotate around lateral axis, especially affecting braking and acceleration/traction of course. You can make zero dive car and drivers would have zero feeling under the braking ( CC tried that and failed ). Do you really understand complexity of car’s suspension or is it just me recognizing lack of understanding in your post. This suspension brings different CoR ( center of roll ) on the front axis and only Merc suspension engineers know how it affects AoR ( axis of roll ) of the whole car ( AoR is defined by front and rear axle CoR ). Because the floor rolls the same way as suspension does only Merc aero engineers know how it affects floor performance under lateral acceleration. AoR should be defined by very close work between aero and suspension guys ( car develops downforce differently at front and rear end). Aero is performance differentiator but without stable suspension platform it’s useless. This upgrade should have been done a year ago, but better late than never. My friendly advice is, you need better professors or better books or both.

          1. And you need better manners. It’s fine and welcome to educate people, but you can do that without rubbing on people’s faces. No need to highlight their ignorance. Smart people are arrogant. Wise people remain humble. Friendly advice.

            1. Thanks Andre for the support. But to be honest, I’m happy that Boomerang at least engaged on a technical discussion, which I embrace.

              My bible remains Milliken & Milliken’s Race Car Vehicle Dynamics, but maybe in the subsequent 25 years, something better might have come along, so would welcome tips on more modern engineering reading.

              I’m curious about this galloping point. Google doesn’t better educate me, so I’m guessing it’s a translation of a translation of a term I can’t identify. Maybe something related to a point of dynamic percussion that is best understood by the painful feeling of hitting a golf ball badly compared with hitting it sweetly. Anyway, probably I’m onto the wrong track there.

              It’s puzzling that you talk about roll. The big geometry change that Merc made is seen from the side of the car, and that affects pitch, not roll.

              You are right that a zero dive car is weird to drive, which is why I’m fascinated by this historical change of philosophy in suspension design. Who are ‘CC’ who tried this before? Cooper Climax? If so, it’s interesting that it’s been 60 years since we’ve seen geometry like Red Bull’s and now Mercedes. It’s also a serious test of the reader… I was trying to make my previous post relatively readable by any site reader, whereas yours is a bit more of an unnecesary challenge.

    7. Its a black ferrari for god’s sake, see the aerial view from other sources,

    8. This confirms that we’ll never start calling them “hide pods”. This is where the dream dies.

    Comments are closed.