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Mercedes to switch half its workforce to 2014 car by May

ESPN Staff
April 24, 2013 « Ferrari identifies reason for Alonso's DRS fault | Vettel won't run away with title - Hamilton »
Toto Wolff says 50% of the Mercedes' workforce will be working on the 2014 car by May © Sutton Images
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Mercedes will have 50% of its workforce focusing on its 2014 car by next month, according to executive director Toto Wolff.

All teams are currently running parallel projects with their 2013 and 2014 cars, but with the engine regulations set for an overhaul next year there is very little crossover. The whole grid is expected to ramp up its focus on 2014 as the year progresses, but those with a shot at the title in 2013 will face a tough balancing act.

Mercedes 2014 project is being overseen by Geoff Willis while Aldo Costa heads up development of the 2013 car. Both report to technical director Bob Bell and team principal Ross Brawn and Wolff said the decision has been made to put the majority of its focus on 2014 from May onwards.

"We're already working on 2014 and we'll gradually raise the percentage of people working on next year's car," Wolff told the official Formula One website. "I would say that in May we will reach a point where more than 50 percent will work on the 2014 car.

"There is no doubt that at a point in the summer everybody [the other teams] will switch their main resources to the 2014 car, as this is a very complex and complicated machine. Of course it all depends on where you are in the standings. Those who are fighting for the title will of course concentrate longer on this year's car."

Ex-McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe will join Mercedes in 2014, but with Brawn as team principal it is still not clear what role he will take

"One doesn't obviate the other," Wolff said of Lowe joining alongside Brawn. "Ross is team principal and I don't want to change that. We need to get stability in the team as we have a mountain of work to do. From where this team is coming it is important to have as many good people as possible - that is my focus in all these discussions."