Mercedes launch the radically different new W13 car they hope will help Lewis Hamilton wrest the F1 title back from Max Verstappen – with odd-looking side-pods causing a stir on the first day of 2022 pre-season testing

Mercedes caused a massive buzz in the Formula One paddock as their new ‘W13′ car made its first appearance on the track on the first day of pre-season testing in Sakhir, Bahrain on Thursday. Red Bull chief Christian Horner has admitted the wide variety of interpretations of the numerous new rules, as shown by all the teams’ cars, has been ‘fascinating’, with Mercedes’ side-pods – or lack thereof – causing a particular stir. Lewis Hamilton has talked up the new car his team has produced, saying bullishly: ‘We don’t make mistakes. They have nothing to do with the mirror mount… Mercedes went a step too far. Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto added: ‘Looking at the Mercedes car, no doubt it is a great car. A new rule states that changes are now allowed mid-season, if eight out of 10 teams, F1 and the FIA all agree – meaning a Red Bull protest, for example, could stymie Mercedes’ changes.

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