F1 News: Mercedes not "100% confident" in 2023 success – Sports Illustrated

Toto Wolff explains the situation at Mercedes.
Despite showing occasional flashes of race-winning pace, the Mercedes W13 has failed to put the Silver Arrows anywhere near the championship battle this year. 
A new regulation change is always likely to change the pecking order, but few fans anticipated Mercedes would fail to secure a race win after eighteen rounds. 
The Brackley-based squad is four rounds away from its first winless season since 2011, currently more than 60 points adrift from second-placed Ferrari in the standings and over 200 points behind leaders Red Bull. 
Mercedes gambled with their sidepod philosophy for the start of these regulations, but this risk has only contributed to what has become a highly unpredictable and frustrating car.
Toto Wolff, as quoted by gpfans, has spoken candidly about the team's prospects in 2023:
"First, you have to understand what the root-cause is for your non-performance, and then you have to peel the skin. 
"What is the first layer? What is the second layer? Are we really on top of all the questions? The answer is no, we are not. 
"But I think a big chunk of the performance that we are missing, we have discovered. 
"It's not something we can change this year. It is [about] decisions that we have made for next year.
But I am not 100% confident to say here that we will be fighting for World Championships…
"There is still work to do."
It would be unwise for Toto Wolff to suggest that Mercedes is guaranteed to rejoin the Championship battle next season, but his scepticism underscores the uncertainty awaiting the Silver Arrows. 
They face an important decision regarding their philosophy for next season:
Will they keep their more radical design, or will they adopt the more standard livery concept?
If Mercedes keeps the fundamentals of its current concept, they risk facing the same issues that have plagued them persistently this year. 
Opting for the more conventional sidepod design is also a risk, considering they will be playing catchup to the likes of Red Bull, who will have significantly more data in this area.
The last decade of Formula 1 has shown Mercedes should never be written off, but they will face one of their greatest challenges over winter to climb back to the top.


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