Mercedes has simply three races left to keep away from its first winless season in 11 years after struggling to take the struggle to Purple Bull and Ferrari underneath the revised technical rules for 2022.
However the workforce has made respectable progress over the season to get nearer to the entrance runners.
Lewis Hamilton got here near victory in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, aided partly by the ultimate improve bundle of the season for the W13 automobile. He completed the race second after shedding the lead with seven laps remaining.
Mercedes has made clear that the replace work it’s doing late within the season is meant to assist the route of its automobile for 2023, which was set to vary after discovering points with this 12 months’s idea.
“The DNA of the automobile goes to vary for subsequent 12 months, that is clear,” mentioned Wolff.
“It would not essentially imply that our bodywork goes to look very totally different. However definitely what’s a part of the DNA of the automobile, the structure of the automobile, will change for subsequent 12 months.”
Mercedes struggled within the early a part of the season with a bouncing downside on the W13 automobile, solely to discover a deeper challenge that was baked into the design following its first main improve on the Spanish Grand Prix in Might.
The workforce has been unable to match the straight-line velocity of Purple Bull over the 12 months, with the difficulty once more turning into clear in Sunday’s race on the Circuit of The Americas when Max Verstappen eased previous Hamilton for the lead of the race.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, George Russell, Mercedes W13
Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Photos
Hamilton mentioned after the race that he thought Mercedes had taken a step in the suitable route however famous Verstappen’s benefit on the straights.
“I feel, underneath DRS they’re like 35 km/h quicker than us,” he mentioned. “If we’re behind them, we’re like, 22k quicker, I feel it’s, with DRS on the again straight. So he got here from a protracted, good distance again.
“However even with out the DRS, I feel they’re nonetheless one thing like 8 km/h up on us, so we have numerous time being misplaced on the straight, most likely four-tenths at the very least a lap. And so we have some enhancements to make for subsequent 12 months’s automobile.”
Mercedes will profit from elevated wind tunnel time for aerodynamic improvement in 2023 after Purple Bull clinched the constructors’ championship on Sunday.
Ought to Mercedes stay third within the standings come the tip of the season, it might have 14% extra wind tunnel operating than Purple Bull subsequent 12 months – one thing Wolff felt may provide a good step.
“From that time, it was a major drawback up to now as a result of all of 2021, we have been the main workforce after which we gained the constructors’ championship,” he defined.
“So all the first half of 2022 we had 7% much less wind tunnel time than the 18 months earlier than of Purple Bull and far lower than Ferrari. Now it swings the opposite means round.
“In comparison with Purple Bull, we’ll have 14% extra if we end third, in order that over time is strictly what the rules have been designed for, to offer us the potential to eke the benefit out, to claw it again.”