Mercedes plans to introduce a more significant upgrade to its 2023 Formula 1 car at the British Grand Prix, as it is seeing better correlation from its factory to on-track performance.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell scored a double podium in Spain before Hamilton was again fighting for second place in Canada on a track the team didn’t expect to suit its W14. With four rounds to go before the summer break — the first being a sprint event in Austria — team principal Toto Wolff says the following race at Silverstone will see another, more significant revision.
“We are bringing a larger one to Silverstone and we should have another one before [summer break] shutdown,” Wolff said. “It’s just that the learnings have accelerated a lot since we changed some of the conceptual architecture. There should be decent steps coming in the next four races.
“I think we are understanding better the simulations and they now correlate what we are seeing on track — and that is better, because it has been a problem for the last one and half years. We are seeing good performance gains that are coming in the tunnel. We are seeing a better understanding of what the car needs in order to go fast, what the setup needs to look like, so in general the steps are getting bigger now. We are making good inroads.”
Wolff says his team’s performance in Montreal was particularly encouraging given the track characteristics, but he still believes there is a strong advantage being held by Red Bull and Max Verstappen at most venues.
“For us, we didn’t expect to perform in Canada because of how the car’s DNA is at the moment. So it’s encouraging to be not so far away, but one must not forget Max is cruising at the front. Maybe ‘cruising’ is the wrong word, but Max is having an easier time — there is margin. So there’s quite a gap to catch up.
“I think that the margin is still too big to really think that Max is under pressure. I don’t know how much it was this race — was it 0.2s per lap or so? Still it is far off.”