There’s great intrigue around how Mercedes are going to fare this weekend in Monaco with their eagerly-awaited upgrades coming into play.
The W14 has perhaps not been as much of a problem child as the W13 in 2022 was but Toto Wolff was quite clear at the start of the season that the Silver Arrows would indeed be changing course in terms of the car’s design, with the tweaks expected to break cover for the race in Imola last week.
However, the floods in the Emilia Romagna region meant that last weekend’s race was cancelled and, instead, we’ll now see the new Mercedes parts make their debut this weekend in Monte-Carlo.
It’s perhaps not the most ideal circuit on which to trial new parts but Mercedes will just be glad that they are here and, hopefully for them, they will start seeing improved data concerning their car.
Friday will be the first time we see the parts on the car in a session, then, but photos and images of the reprofiled sidepods have already been captured here in Monaco in the pitlane.
Let’s take a look at just how different the new sidepods are compared to the old ones, courtesy of Albert Fabrega on Twitter:
It doesn’t need someone with Adrian Newey’s eye for design to see that there’s been a big overhaul on the car’s sidepods.
Mercedes have abandoned the ‘zero-pod’ concept that captured the attention so quickly at the start of 2022 but ultimately failed to live up to the expectations they had for it.
They’ve now got a concept that is a bit closer to what the rest of the field have got and they’ll be hoping that that is going to allow them to quickly gain performance.
It might not get them instantly back level with Red Bull, and Toto Wolff has cautioned against expecting the upgrades to be a ‘silver bullet,’ but there will still be some positivity and optimism that the new parts are here and that a new start can effectively take place for Mercedes that should put them back on the path towards race wins and, eventually, championship challenges.