Toto Wolff has confirmed that the latest updates to the W14 will help set the team’s development course for its successor, the W15, as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell prepare to receive a new floor upgrade for the United States Grand Prix.
The Silver Arrows endured a disappointing weekend in Qatar last time out with Hamilton and Russell colliding on the opening lap of the Grand Prix, taking the seven-time world champion out of the race and leaving the latter with a mountain to climb.
With Carlos Sainz failing to start the race due to a fuel leak, Mercedes still managed to avoid losing ground on Ferrari in their Constructor Championship battle, but with the immense pace demonstrated by Russell in his fight through the field, the Brackley-based team clearly threw away considerable points with their lap-one tangle.
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“We’ll be bringing a modified floor, which is the last significant update we will take to the track this year,” Wolff explained ahead of his return to the F1 paddock at the United States Grand Prix.
“It will hopefully bring a small gain but more importantly, is another milestone in setting our development path for W15. We will keep our heads down, keep pushing and aim to score as many points as we can to increase our advantage.”
Wolff’s cautious optimism was echoed by technical director James Allison, who told the F1 Nation podcast: “It should be good at any circuit for the remainder of the year. It’s not transformative, should be about a tenth of a second.
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“It’s in the direction we think is decent, both for producing downforce in the right place, and hopefully being resistant to the bounciness that all these cars nibble at as soon as you try and get much downforce from them.”
Mercedes have endured a disappointing season in development terms with Wolff and his team paying the price for doubling down on the ‘zeropod’ design philosophy that was pioneered in the W13.
However, there is still some hope for Mercedes, despite the massive gap that remains to reigning constructor champions Red Bull. McLaren’s immense progress has given teams up and down the grid hope that they can also make considerable gains over the winter with Andrea Stella’s team transforming from the worst car on the grid to the second fastest.
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