The German producer is coming off the again of a difficult marketing campaign the place it struggled to get on prime of the new-rules period, dropping out to rivals Purple Bull and Ferrari.
Its new W13 automotive struggled badly with porpoising early on and, regardless of some good progress over the yr that allowed George Russell to guide a Mercedes 1-2 in Brazil, nonetheless ended the marketing campaign with a efficiency deficit to the entrance as Mercedes fell to 3rd within the constructors’ championship.
However whereas the group says the yr has delivered useful classes in serving to it perceive how finest to strategy the brand new floor impact rules, it’s not pretending it absolutely understands all that went unsuitable this yr.
Requested if the group received a complete grip on the automotive, which suggests subsequent yr’s W14 could have banished all of the weaknesses, Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles stated within the squad’s common post-race movies: “I do not suppose you’ll be able to really now, and even throughout the winter, state that we all know every part in regards to the W13.
“There have been some ups and downs, very a lot so, and that is the a part of what I meant by this automotive has gadgets that we consider we perceive and a few of them that also not absolutely defined because of that.
“However in case you have a look at the course transferring ahead, the gaps to the entrance, particularly on race tempo, we made large quantities of progress and also you solely try this by understanding the place your issues are, engaged on them and dealing as a group.”
Mercedes appears to be like set to shift the idea of its automotive for subsequent season.
The W13 is believed to have suffered so much as a result of its peak efficiency might solely be produced when operating very low to the bottom, which then uncovered it to worse porpoising and bouncing.
The change of strategy might pay dividends, however Mercedes remains to be conscious that there remained a giant efficiency hole in Abu Dhabi final weekend between itself and Purple Bull, which Lewis Hamilton stated summed up the struggles of the year.
George Russell, Mercedes W13
Photograph by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
“The arrogance we now have is that we now have our instruments, our windtunnel instruments, our growth instruments, our efficiency instruments right here within the organisation producing efficiency which is greater than our rivals, and it is permitting us to maneuver additional ahead relative to them,” Vowles stated.
“There may be nonetheless a void although and Abu Dhabi actually confirmed that. That needs to be caught up throughout the winter and I believe we now have an excellent course of and system in place to do this.
“That growth that you just noticed throughout the season will proceed throughout the winter and I believe we shall be in a really sturdy place subsequent yr.”
Vowles does suppose that the Mercedes group is ending the yr stronger as an organisation, because of its want to return collectively to kind out its errors.
“We’re a group that’s used to success, used to successful, used to being on the entrance and we weren’t,” he stated. “And that basically has modified the organisation for the constructive.
“We’re a lot better because of this and that is the characters which have constructed and we now have constructed ourselves because of that.
“It has been difficult, there is no such thing as a query about it. We weren’t ready we have been used to being in and it’s a must to make it possible for because of that you just adapt to maneuver ahead – and we now have.
“I believe we proved in comparison with the start of the season relative to the tip how a lot we moved ahead.”
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13
Photograph by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
He added: “This group needed to pull nearer collectively than ever earlier than. It is very simple in these circumstances, in these tough occasions to tug aside and we did not.
“The drivers pulled collectively, and I’m assured we now have the most effective driver line-up on the grid. We now have two unbelievable drivers pushing one another however working as a group to make the automotive higher.
“We now have a group each in Brixworth and in Brackley, and on the monitor as nicely, all working along with only one objective in thoughts and that isn’t to win anymore essentially. It’s to make it possible for we perceive the bundle we now have, in order that we’re again to our successful methods subsequent yr.”