Mercedes admits dilemma; Push for more wins in 2013 or focus on 2014 campaign?

Mercedes team - of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton - have become the team to beat in 2013

Mercedes team – of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton – have become the team to beat in 2013

More wins in the remaining races of 2013, or the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship title? Nico Rosberg is in two minds as to how Mercedes should tackle the second half of this season.

The German has won two races in the ever-improving Mercedes so far this year, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton won the most recent grand prix, in Hungary.

But with the sweeping rules changes for 2014 looming, and some teams already turning their full focus to the new cars, Rosberg is unsure how Mercedes should proceed.

Speaking to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, he seemed to acknowledge that, Mercedes’ front-running car notwithstanding, the chance of winning the 2013 title is slim.

Nico Rosberg won the British GP

Nico Rosberg won the British GP

“We have been able to celebrate some huge successes,” he said. “Unfortunately, especially due to the tyres, we were not consistent enough.

“The progress we have made, however, is huge,” Rosberg explained. “But our goal is to be where Sebastian (Vettel) is.”

Indeed, with half the season gone, Red Bull‘s Vettel has a 38 point lead over Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen, while the closest Mercedes challenger is Hamilton, who is 48 points adrift.

Rosberg’s gap to the lead, meanwhile, is 88 points.

The 28-year-old acknowledged, therefore, that the 2014 rules revolution is a “huge opportunity” for a works outfit like Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian GP

Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian GP

So should the Brackley based team throw its full weight behind 2014, or keep developing the current car for more poles and wins?

“That’s a difficult question,” Rosberg said. “I’m in two minds. On the one hand, I find it so cool to come to a race weekend with the best car, thinking ‘I can put it on pole and win’. It’s a great feeling.”

“On the other hand, half of me thinks that next year is such a huge opportunity, because of all the changes. If we just keep driving what we have now, we can still get some good successes out of this car,” he added.

What Rosberg is implying is that Mercedes might now consider simply switching the full weight of the team’s resources to the 2014 project.

Team boss Ross Brawn admitted that it is a possibility, “For Spa and Monza we have some great update packages in the works. Depending on how well things go, we will then decide what to do for the rest of the season.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Boycottthebull

    Thats pretty contemptuous to the fans. Just give up and let the rest of the season be a parade show for another Red Bull win. You could at least have the decency to make them fight for it. I didnt realise this was a give up half way type sport if your chances of winning are slim. Thats a childish tantrum mentality I would expect from Vettel and Horner not Mercedes.

  • KC

    With their resources there is no dilemma, they can easily develop both the 2013 and 2014 cars at the same time. And I’m sure that is exactly what they will do. Even if they can’t win the 2013 WDC or WCC it will be a big boost for Merc to even come second.

  • KC

    “Mercedes team – of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton – have become the team to beat in 2013″

    Ummm … what?

  • =El Presidente=

    They have to push on through!
    They have a half-decent chance right now to break the winning streak of of RedBull. Now they have the momentum and a decent car. Next year it is still to been seen how well they will go, also next year it will be more easy to make up some time to other teams in the case they need to, due to all the new techniques.

  • Pohorc

    They are strong at the moment but Red Bull is still better and they will win it

  • Pohorc
  • KevinW

    The team will make the decision based on their chances of winning the Constructors (where the money is), regardless of any impact that might have on the drivers. In that, the deficit to Red Bull is a serious hurdle, while the weakness of Ferrari hardly a threat from behind. Regardless of the myopia of drivers, if it looks as though 2nd is the best Merc can manage, they will likely focus on defending against Ferrari and Lotus by managing the balance of driver results and consistency over wins – and move toward greater effort heading into 2014. They could do well to keep Nico from suffering any more failures that cost the team points that put them in harms way than any spotty wins Hamilton might be able to deliver. Might also keep in mind that Asia is where Red Bull has proven truly tough, while Monza and Spa are not as strong – so basing judgement on these two is hardly indicative of potential for the remaining 7 events.

  • Tamburello_1994

    “Mercedes’ front-running car notwithstanding, the chance of winning the 2013 title is slim”. – Nico Rosberg.

    Ridiculous. Not leading in any official category, How can Mercedes be considered “the team to beat in 2013″?

    The champions are the champions until someone knocks them off. Been like that since Christ was a corporal So why is that any different now?

    Me, personally, I don’t think anything has been decided yet, and there should be sufficient motivation for the top teams to continue the 2013 program. If anybody thinks team Red Bull is just gonna roll over and play dead, they are sadly mistaken. Expect them, along with the other contending teams, to fight it out to the end.

  • petes

    Well while Rosberg mightn’t know, I’m certain the Board does and will have made their decision known. After all, they’re the ones taking any dissatisfaction for employing their high profile team.

  • Psych4191

    Did these idiots not learn anything from BMW? 2008 they won Canada, immediately dropped 2008 development for 2009, and what happened? Their car was a piece of crap.

  • McLarenfan

    Rosberg is the team principle when did that happen???
    Mercedes like McLaren will fight and develop to the end because the payout from Bernie is at stake, Lotus will fight but may not develop and remember a lot of things can still be developed on this car for 2014 several teams have said this.

  • LotusFan

    Put your thinking caps on Merc, Lotus, Ferrari… The more you challenge Red Bull and closer you get to Vettel in 2013, the more you keep them from shifting focus to their 2014 car.
    Ferrari should also go all out to sign Kimi. Not only do they get a top driver and light a fire under Alonso, but deny RBR a top driver pairing.
    Wish the teams would step up, so we dont see Red Bull running away with it for years.

  • grat

    This is where the “too many chiefs” phrase comes back… to haunt Red Bull.

    Mercedes has enough talent that they can probably develop both cars… there’s a question as to how much they can spend on new parts, but they’ve got enough technical wizards in the back to keep coming up with new ideas for both chassis.

    Since the new parts aren’t really needed for the W05 until November, they can probably keep developing both cars right through to Brazil.

  • Butterfly

    Oh, boy. They had a piece of s{hi}t car for three seasons, were lagging Ferrari last year, now this year they’re mopping the floor with Red Bull in qualifying and if they continue development, by the end of the season they will have the fastest car in all conditions.

    Talk about proper engineering.

    Meanwhile, over at Maranello, the Italians have no f-ing clue what the problem is. But, at least, they remain calm. As always.

    Mercedes to Ferrari: Okay, you guys, we’ll go ahead and win races and both titles while you remain calm. Are you okay with that?

    Ferrari: Sure, we’d be happy to do that.

    Idiots…

  • Hum

    Mercedes had the fastest car all season, easily the fastest. The tyres just held them back in some races. Now the tyres favor them too (thanks to illeqal tests and the tyre compound change) they have easily the fastest/best car in race too.

    If Hamilton or Rosberg cant win the title with a superior car like this, then it would be a farce.

  • Butterfly

    Look, take nothing away from Merc’s effort. They got here on their own, albeit with a little help from Pirelli.

    To tell you the truth, I would much like to see Ross Brawn’s team take another title. :-)

  • kimi fan

    why fokus for 2014 when they are really good on 2013????…just need to push for 2013 only.,,push to the limit n see what happen…

  • Psych4191

    @Butterfly

    It’s the wind tunnel! It’s always the wind tunnel! Never their inept designers and engineers.

  • A41202813GMAIL

    “Better 1 Bird On Your Hand, Than 2 Flying”.

    MERCEDES Can Not Be Sure Of Being Better, In Both Championships, In 12 Months, Than It Is Right Now.

    Take Advantage Of This Chance Now, Because You Are Never Sure If You Will Have Another, Ever.

    Go, HAMILTON !

  • Torque

    Your indescision is why your not a champ and never will be Nico, live and win for today cause tomorrow may never come!

  • Butterfly

    Psych4191:

    Oh, for sure!