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How can Mercedes upgrades unlock more performance?

How can Mercedes upgrades unlock more performance?

Mercedes have struggled to understand ground-effect F1 cars over the past eighteen months. Mercedes spent much of last year trying to fix development errors, and James Allison has been tasked with addressing their wayward streak. After a difficult start to 2024, the team’s progress is clear – and further upgrades are expected to follow on the W15.

How did Mercedes correct the initial mistakes?

Perhaps the most important area Mercedes has had to address has been simulator correlation. As Toto Wolff has complained several times over the past year, downforce displayed in the wind tunnel often failed to translate on track, making it almost impossible for the Silver Arrows to have any certainty about their trajectory.

At the start of this season, it appeared a similar story was unfolding, with changes in conditions such as track temperatures or wind intensity quickly taking the W15 out of its operating window.

However, the German manufacturer has made a significant intervention in Monaco. A new front wing (originally fitted to George Russell’s car) has helped create a more stable aerodynamic balance. After spending the start of 2024 mixing and matching different specifications, James Allison has figured out which configurations will be used from this round onwards.

2024 British Grand Prix, Friday – LAT Images

Critical upgrades for W15 on the way

These early upgrade packs could give the Brackley-based team a leading car loan, but perhaps the most encouraging thing for Toto Wolff and his staff is that reinforcements are on the way.

Of course, Mercedes isn’t the only team planning further updates, with every team in the paddock set to have improvements ready for the second half of the season.

However, the Silver Arrows have not made any major updates in recent events. Unlike Red Bull or Ferrari, the German manufacturer has kept its powder dry in the races between Spain and Britain.

One of the main reasons for this was that, as previously mentioned, Mercedes began its correction of its 2024 trajectory in Monaco, so James Allison’s technical team wanted to spend some time gathering data before making any changes.

With two consecutive race weekends under the team’s belt, the factory in Brackley is confident about its improvements, which are expected to reach the next rounds in Hungary and Belgium just before the summer break.

Mercedes are confident about these components, based on comments made by James Allison at the beginning of June. The consensus in the paddock is that Lewis Hamilton and George Hamilton will have more opportunities to win.

It’s important to remember that the W15 is still a relatively new concept, as last year was essentially a loss. Unlike Red Bull, for example, the German manufacturer is still in the relatively early stages of developing its concept.

Toto Wolff’s team hopes to make significant progress and become a team that is ready to win regularly.