Mercedes F1 team to put half its workforce on 2014 car by May

Mercedes will have switched more than half its workforce on to its 2014 Formula 1 car by May, says the firm's motorsport boss Toto Wolff

Mercedes F1 team to put half its workforce on 2014 car by May

With the 2014 F1 regulations featuring the biggest technical changes in many years, as the current V8 engines are replaced by 1.6-litre V6 turbos, teams face a balancing act deciding how many resources to allocate to the next car without compromising their current campaign.

In an interview with the official F1 website, Wolff made it clear that 2014 will shortly have equal resources to developing the present W04.

"We're already working on 2014 and we'll gradually raise the percentage of people working on next year's car," he said.

"I would say that in May we will reach a point where more than 50 per cent will work on the 2014 car."

Wolff is sure most teams not at the front of the 2013 standings will follow Mercedes' example in time.

"Here is no doubt that at a point in the summer everybody will switch their main resources to the 2014 car, as this is a very complex and complicated machine," he said.

"Of course it all depends on where you are in the standings. Those who are fighting for the title will of course concentrate longer on this year's car."

AUTOSPORT gets early look at 2014 Mercedes engine

But Wolff added that he did not want the 2013 championship to be neglected, and still had minimum expectations.

"I want to be among the four top teams in the constructors' championship and have a driver among the top four as well," he said.

AUTOSPORT says
Edd Straw, F1 editor
(@EddStrawF1)

There is nothing extraordinary about Mercedes having 50 per cent of its workforce focused on 2014 by May, but it is a reminder of what is really important for this team.

With the new 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engines - or power units as they should more accurately be called - coming in at the start of the year, 2014 represents a major rules change.

At Brixworth, Mercedes is working hard on its new powerplants and it is essential for Brackley to ensure that it has a car to match the hoped-for quality of its engines.

It would be wrong to say that success this year is irrelevant in the long-term, but what is essential is that Mercedes is on the money at the start of the new era.

Sustaining its promising start to 2013 will be a valuable 'proof of concept' that it is in good shape, but next year is what matters.

After all, since the team came into being as BAR in 1999 amid the loftiest of ambitions, it has been a perennial underachiever.

Aside from the perfect storm of 2009, in extraordinary circumstances unlikely ever to be repeated, it has only a couple of victories to its name.

For Mercedes, nothing except sustained success is acceptable. And while much will depend on the quality of the engines, Brackley cannot afford not to deliver a strong car in a season that will shape the sport for the years that follow.

If that means sacrificing a few results in the back end of this year, so be it.

shares
comments
Nico Hulkenberg still sure Sauber move was the right one
Previous article

Nico Hulkenberg still sure Sauber move was the right one

Next article

Di Resta: making the direct approach work

Di Resta: making the direct approach work
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far Plus

The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP Plus

Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP

On paper the Canadian Grand Prix will go down as Max Verstappen’s latest triumph, fending off late pressure from Carlos Sainz to extend his Formula 1 world championship lead. But as safety car periods, virtual and real, shook up the race Ferrari demonstrated it can take the fight to Red Bull after recent failures

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022