Hamilton: Putting Red Bull sidepods on W14 'won't change a thing'

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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes's current troubles can't be solved by slapping on its car Red Bull's sidepod design, a change that would have absolutely no bearing on its machine's performance.

Mercedes has devised a plan to change the concept of its W14 black arrow in the coming months in a bid to turn around the Brackley squad's fortunes.

The wholesale changes will likely include ditching the zero sidepod design introduced last year and which was carried over to this season.

Team boss toto Wolff has suggested that the team would have "no shame" following Red Bull's proven downwash design concept towards which many teams are converging if following that path leads to better results.


"I think at this stage, we have no dogmatism of how the car should look like," explained Wolff. "It just needs to be the quickest possible race car.

"And if that car looks like a Red Bull, or like SpaceX, I don't care, it just needs to be quick. And if it's a Red Bull, we will put a little bull somewhere with a sticker, and I will have no shame if it's quick."

Hamilton warns however that Mercedes' concept change must go much deeper than a mere Red Bull-inspired revamp of its sidepods.

"I think we have what we have, and we're going to continue to try to work on it and extract more from it, and we'll see how quick that can happen, or whether that's possible with the concept we have," said the Briton last weekend in Saudi Arabia.

"And then in the short term we will start to find out whether or not we've got to make loads of big, drastic changes, I mean there are drastic changes which we will do.

"People keep talking about getting the new sidepods on the car but it's not as simple as that.

"You put the Red Bull sidepods on our car and it won't change a thing, it literally won't change a thing, it might even go slower.

"It's about aero characteristics, it's how the car is balanced through the corners.

"There's so many different elements that people of course would not know because they're not aerodynamicists and you can't see it - there's a lot more to it."

Hamilton recently revealed that he had warned Mercedes about carrying last year's concept into 2023, lamenting the fact that his team had not listened to him.

The seven-time world champion has been vindicated by Mercedes' decision to change its path.

"I'm one of those people that always likes to be right, but I'm not always right, but in this scenario I was right," he said.

"So it was good, it was like, 'I told you’."

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