While Mercedes has kept their 'zero sidepod' philosophy for 2023 and believe they have sorted their problems that stemmed from the W13, the team has a 'Plan B car' on standby if they persist. Mercedes has a 'Plan B car' on standby should their problems from the W13 persist with their 2023 challenger.
The team has elected to keep the zero sidepod philosophy for the W14, with some tweaks to the air duct design around the engine cover. It was an encouraging vote of confidence in their car design from Mercedes, given the problems that led to nearly a winless season in 2022. However according to Sky Sports F1 analyst Ted Kravitz, Mercedes has another car concept that is more in-line with the design of Red Bull that it can introduce midway through the season if their issues from last season still persist. "They're giving their big idea, which was a failure last year, one more go. But I believe they have a 'Plan B' in production," said Kravitz. "If they need to, they can go to a Plan B - which is the Red Bull or Ferrari-style of doing things - in the middle of the season."