Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he is proud of the ‘side pages’ that the team presented in Bahrain, while German team driver George Russell adds that he cares if he will be fast on the track because he is not interested in looks.
Mercedes attracted a lot of public attention on the first day of other pre-season tests due to the extreme design of the side floors that were seen after seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton set out on the track in Bahrain.
The Briton has started testing a significantly modified W13 car with which the German team is looking to continue the good results in the 2022 season, which brought new technical regulations, and thus completely new cars.
On the first day, Hamilton set a time of 1: 36.365, which he finished in 11th place. In addition, during the interrogation in the morning session he did 62 laps on the Sakhir track. After the seven-time world champion finished his job, a press conference followed at which the head of the Silver Arrows could not hide his satisfaction with Mercedes' radical design, which differs greatly from the one used in Barcelona.
"We are really proud of what we have achieved in terms of the concept, but now we need to speed it up," Wolff said. "I think that's the direction of development that we like, and it's about adjusting the car, so we experiment a lot like we did during the (previous) days, and we approach it with curiosity."
"There are problems that are specific to Bahrain," the Mercedes chief added. "It's very hot, you see a lot of cars still bouncing - some in the direction, others through the corners - so it's a matter of adjustment.
We haven't looked at performance data yet. "
Wolff and George Russell on the car
Wolff then went on to explain the process of liaising with the FIA - the governing body of motorsport - about the unique design of the sidewalls.
"The process is very clear: when you go in a certain direction of development that you think the FIA is involved in its testing, you exchange CAD (computer design) data. You make them part of the process, ”says Wolff.
The design may be striking, but new Mercedes driver George Russell claims he is more worried about how the refurbished W13 car will behave on the track because he is not interested in the look but whether it will be fast.
"I guess it looks interesting, but it doesn't matter how it looks, but how fast it goes, so I don't really have any more thoughts than that," Russell said. "It obviously caught the eye of many people..
I'm proud to be part of a team that pushes innovation, and all the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears - to see something pretty spectacular being performed is pretty amazing. " “But as I said, it doesn’t matter what it looks like; we need to see if it is fast on the track, "Russell concluded