Mercedes offers first look at vital upgrades to W13 car for Spanish GP after private test
Can Mercedes get back into the mix with its much-needed upgrades? Karun Chandhok: “It’s a very important weekend for Mercedes to get their concept car working”; Live coverage of the Spanish GP on Sky Sports F1 this weekend, starting Friday
By Matt Morlidge in Barcelona
Last update: 05/19/22 7:05 p.m.
Sky Sports’ Karun Chandok says Mercedes “needs to start performing now” if it is to have a chance of competing in either championship this season.
Mercedes have provided a first look at the car’s upgrades which they hope will get their season back on track at this weekend’s Spanish GP.
The F1 world champions of the past eight seasons have fallen far behind favorites Ferrari and Red Bull at the start of the new era of 2022 and the Spanish GP is crucial as Mercedes both bring updates essentials and compares them to the car they debuted in pre-season testing.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has suggested that after Barcelona the team will know whether to continue with their current ‘sidepod-less’ car or change their concept altogether, ending their already slim title hopes.
The W13 car was rolled into the garage on Thursday in Barcelona and – although there was a lot more clarity around the new parts during Exclusive live coverage of the Spanish GP from Sky Sports F1, from Friday – there are already hints that the Silver Arrows have a few tricks up their sleeve.
In photos taken from the pit lane, small fins can be seen under the car towards the front wing, Mercedes appearing to follow a design that Ferrari and Red Bull used at the start of the season.
The parts will improve the airflow to the front of the car.
There also appear to be subtle changes to the floor, an area of weakness for the Mercedes porpoising so far this year, with the floor edge tweaked on the W13.
The changes follow a day of filming for Mercedes at Paul Ricard on Wednesday, where Sky Sports understands Mercedes has rocked the car they intend to run this weekend.
George Russell, who leads Lewis Hamilton in the Championship, drove the revamped car in the closed-door test, with Mercedes having now used up the two days of filming allocated to it in 2022.
F1 teams are allocated two filming days each season, with Mercedes choosing to use their second of the year at Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France.
As always on filming days, Mercedes had to run on demo tires from Pirelli when they were also limited to just 100km, the equivalent of 17 laps.
The team is still confident they can unlock their 2022 pace – as they did during practice in Miami – over a full Grand Prix.
Mercedes are currently third in the standings, 62 points behind Ferrari, who are just ahead of Red Bull.
“Great weekend for Mercedes in Barcelona”
Sky Sports F1’s Karun Chandhok:
“I think it’s a very important weekend for Mercedes to get their concept car working.
Simon Lazenby is joined by Damon Hill and Karun Chandhok to anticipate the Spanish GP.
“They had a day on set earlier this week where they would have had a chance to assess things. It’s a private day so there would be no outside cameras or footage.
“I suspect they tried different floor layouts, different layout configurations, to try to unlock the inherent performance that they believe is in the W13 car for Hamilton and Russell.
“I think it’s a big weekend for them. If they want to fight for the championship for the rest of this season, they can’t really leave it any longer than that.”
Sky Sports F1 Full Live Spanish GP Schedule
Friday May 20
8:30 a.m.: Formula 3 testing
9:30 a.m.: F1 drivers’ press conference
10:35 a.m.: Formula 2 testing
12:30 p.m.: 1st practice of the Spanish GP (the session starts at 1:00 p.m.)
2:25 p.m.: Formula 3 qualifying
3:45 p.m.: 2nd practice of the Spanish GP (the session starts at 4:00 p.m.)
5:25 p.m.: Formula 2 qualifying
6:15 p.m.: W Series Qualifying
7 p.m.: The F1 Motor Show
Saturday May 21
9:55 a.m.: Formula 3 sprint race
11:45 a.m.: Third practice of the Spanish GP (the session starts at 12 p.m.)
1:20 p.m.: W Series race
2:25 p.m .: preparation for qualifying for the Spanish GP
3 p.m.: QUALIFYING FOR THE SPANISH GRAND PRIX
4:35 p.m.: Formula 2 sprint race
5:35 p.m.: Ted’s qualification notebook
Sunday May 22
9:00 a.m.: Formula 3 star race
10:35 a.m.: Formula 2 star race
12:30 p.m.: Grand Prix Sunday: Spain
2 p.m.: THE SPAIN GRAND PRIX
4 p.m.: Checkered flag: Spain
5 p.m.: Ted’s notebook
6 p.m.: Highlights of the Spanish GP