Mercedes have been pleased with the early life of their new floor and suggested what they learn in the final races of 2023 will be crucial to their plans for 2024.
The Silver Arrows unveiled an update to the W14’s floor in Austin and while it has brought performance to this year’s car, it is also a test run for 2024’s W15.
Two races down, Mercedes have been pleased with results they have seen from the updated floor and believe the benefits will be seen next year.
‘Encouraging signs’ for Mercedes after floor upgrade
Having been out of the title fight for two seasons now, Mercedes are determined to build a competitive car for 2024 and to that end have been working hard behind the scenes at Brackley.
But while plenty of the work goes on behind doors, there are a few things that the public have been able to see, most notably the new floor which included the leading edge being raised and reprofiling of the venturi tunnel roof.
Technical director James Allison is the man leading the design and has been pleased with what he has seen so far.
“Well, if we look at the performance in Austin, and we look at the performance here [Mexico], being able to race cars like McLaren, Ferrari effectively, we’d say that the track data is definitely suggesting that we’ve made a forward step,” he said after Lewis Hamilton secured a podium in Mexico City.
“Now bear in mind that all the top two teams have been bringing updates to the car over the last few races, it is crucial that you can match them on development, even better them to be able to continue to fight them on track.
“The other thing is we collect a lot of data off the car. So pressures off the floor, pressures off the wings, loads on the car and all that data is correlating really well with what we’re seeing in the wind tunnel.
“And that’s crucial for next year, because this floor is actually a step towards the development direction that we want to take for 2024. So very encouraging signs, but still a lot of work ahead of us.”
While the original design of both the W13 and the W14 were flawed, Mercedes’ plight was not helped by their data at the factory failing to match up to what was seen on track.
It took until the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this year for the team to finally recalibrate their equipment.
“Now what the car does [on track] correlates with what we are measuring in the simulations,” Wolff explained after the chequered flag in Montreal.
“And it hasn’t done that for a year and a half.
“Nevertheless, you have to keep both feet on the ground. Alonso in the Aston Martin is still a threat. And Max is even stronger up front.
“It’s not about third or fourth place for me either. It’s really a learning curve to get better, and then at some point compete for victory.”