Mercedes has debuted new sidepods on their 2022 car at pre-season testing in Bahrain.
The new car features a revised version of the sidepod, with a new shape, that caught many people’s attention.
2022 sees the championship introducing a new set of regulations which is hoped will bring closer racing.
The new-look Mercedes quickly became a talking point at testing, with some questioning if the new design was within the spirit of the new regulations, though the changes do meet the regulations as they currently stand.
Team owner Toto Wolff doesn’t believe the development will be banned, as the changes have gone through the FIA and their approval process.
For changes to be made during the season eight of the 10 teams would need to agree, as well as the FIA and Formula 1.
“It’s clear that sometimes when you come with an innovation, it creates the kind of debate that we’re having here. That was expected,” Wolff told media.
“We have the new governance with the super majority that’s needed. My opinion is that I would prefer to stay with the old system.
“If a team comes up with an innovation, you possibly can take it off the car if it’s compliant with the regulations.”
The previous system required all teams to unanimously agree to any changes.
“I think the FIA and Formula 1 will for sure handle that with the with diligence, in the spirit of the sport
“We were keen in not running alone with it, but being in touch with the FIA and that’s why I think it will be okay.”
“The process is very clear when you go in a specific development direction that your team is having the FIA, part of scrutinising it, you’re exchanging CAD data and you’re making them part of the process.”
Formula 1’s motorsport boss Ross Brawn spoke to F1TV about the new design.
“The Mercedes concept we didn’t anticipate, but I think it is a very extreme interpretation of the regulation,” Brawn said.
“There’s going to be a lot of debate about their interpretation. That’s what happens with new regulations.
“And however hard you try to close up all the options – believe me, we closed off hundreds of them – the innovation in F1 is always extreme.
The new Mercedes will make its racing debut at the opening round of the 2022 Formula 1 championship March 18-20 at Bahrain.
Main image: Mercedes-AMG social media