Mercedes is confident in the current concept, as per Wolff

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Mercedes will stay with its zero-pod design for the time being, despite “flying in the fog,” as Toto Wolff puts it, since they are “confident in the present idea.”

This year’s ground-effect aerodynamic cars are anything but standardised, as evidenced by the different sidepod designs, at the outset of an era when Formula One expected almost homogeneous cars.

While Ferrari chose a baby bath design, which has helped them lead both championships, Mercedes chose the complete opposite path, unveiling a zero-pod W13.

In comparison to Ferrari’s seven podiums, they have only two.

The W13 is proving to be a challenge because it has a lot of bouncing and the minimalistic sidepods don’t assist maintain the floor solid.

“A tour of the cars tells you we have much more floor than others,” Wolff explained, quoted by Motorsport.com. “That also gives a lot more opportunity for an unstable car.

“That’s where our concept diverges, but we have to see how we can make this car predictable for the drivers.”

Mercedes will stay with the zero-pod design for the time being, though Wolff has admitted that they may reconsider after the Spanish Grand Prix, when they can compare the data to what they observed in the pre-season tests.

Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

However, he has stated unequivocally that he believes in the zero-pod.

“We have committed ourselves to the current concept and we have to,” he added. “If you don’t believe in it and you also give the other concept a 50 per cent chance, you should switch immediately.”

But he added: “We are confident in the current concept.”

The Austrian argues that all that is required is to unlock the car’s potential, which is proving to be more difficult than it appears.

“We’ve been, straight from the beginning, flying in the fog a little bit,” he said, quoted by Motorsportweek.com.

“It’s clear there’s potential in the car and she’s fast, but we just don’t understand how to unlock the potential.

“It’s a car that is super-difficult to drive and on the edge, dipping in and out of the performance window, more out than in.

“And discussing the data with a scalpel is just a painful process because it takes very long.”

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