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Mercedes Clarify Development Plans for the W14

Despite Ted Kravitz' theory, Mercedes clarify they won't be copying Red Bull with the W14....

As we reported previously, Ted Kravitz claimed that Mercedes had a “Plan B” concept ready to go. Here at Ten Pieces of Eight, we disputed his claim but agreed that there was some merit to the theory. However, Mercedes’ technical chief, Mike Elliott, has put the theory to bed once and for all – there is no Plan B. 

Kravitz said that he believes Mercedes “have a ‘Plan B’ in production, and if they need to, they can go to a ‘Plan B,’ which is the Red Bull or Ferrari style of doing things, in the middle of the season.” 

It was Kravitz himself that posed the question to Elliott who agreed that there was “bodywork coming, [the car] will look different. It won’t look like somebody else’s, it will look like an evolution of ours. That’s on its way.” 

Kravitz pressed further if it would look anything like Red Bull’s concept but was met with a flat, “It’s not in our current plans.” 

The reason for this line of questioning is Mercedes’ lacklustre performance during pre-season testing in Bahrain. The zero-pod concept has proven to be difficult and has seen Mercedes drop from a dominant force to a solid third. Many theorised that the W14 would drop the concept, but Mercedes have said time and again that it isn’t the sidepods that are the issue with the car. Whatever the issue might be, if there is something that everyone can agree on is that Mercedes have a problem, the difference is Mercedes might be the only ones with some idea as to how to fix it. 

However, not all hope is lost for Mercedes fans, as Elliott has confirmed that the team ran the car with extra ballast during testing but will be much lighter come race day. In addition, changes will be made particularly to the front wing which Elliott said they’re “probably not” going to run “when we come racing.” 


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