Mercedes reveal Imola data with latest update on W15 upgrade plan

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel of the Mercedes W15 at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel of the Mercedes W15 at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix

Mercedes technical director James Allison said the team narrowed their deficit to the front “by a tenth or two” at Imola, with further upgrades on the horizon.

After McLaren fired the first shot by winning the Miami Grand Prix via Lando Norris in the upgraded MCL38, Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and Aston Martin responded with upgrades for the following round at Imola.

Mercedes ‘pretty happy’ with Imola ‘gentle step forward’

Norris once more took the fight to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at Imola, falling just seven-tenths short at the chequered flag, while Ferrari settled in behind with Mercedes claiming a comfortable P6 and P7 result.

The Imola upgrades represented the second half of a package for the W15 which first began to take effect in Miami, Allison sharing that Mercedes has moved “several tenths of a second” closer to the front-running pace since the season began, of which the Imola gains accounted for “a tenth or two”.

Asked during Mercedes’ Imola GP debrief whether the upgrades worked as expected, Allison replied: “I would say yes. This weekend’s stuff was part two of a part one that arrived in the previous race, and we completed that step in Imola.

“It is always hard to judge because you are comparing whether your stuff is working on a playing field that is continuously in motion. A lot of other teams were bringing new kit, Ferrari with their upgrade in Imola and McLaren with a load of stuff for the previous race.

“You measure what you measure on your car, but ultimately the truly telling thing about whether your stuff worked is did you move forwards? Because that is the purpose of upgrades, is it propelling you up the grid in any meaningful way? And I would say based on the race pace that we saw in Imola that we took a gentle step forward.

“We are several tenths of a second now nearer the front than we were at the start of the year and in Imola itself, we moved a tenth or two nearer to the front. We are pretty happy with that.”

Who will rein supreme in Monaco?

👉 Five big Monaco GP questions: the biggest qualifying battle in years and risk of rain?

👉 Uncovered: Ferrari’s major SF-24 upgrades that could power them to Monaco win

And as for where Mercedes go from here, Allison said further updates for the W15 will arrive in Monaco, Canada and beyond, as the eight-time Constructors’ champions look to “force our way up the grid”.

“It certainly has been a push,” Allison admitted, “the factory is really on a war footing at the moment and the reason that upgrade package came in two parts is originally it was slated to arrive in one slab, but we brought forward what we could to get it a little bit quicker.

“It has been a big old push, and our challenge now is just to keep that momentum coming.

“We have some more pieces for the car, aerodynamic and others parts that will arrive for Monaco, again for Canada and again in the races to follow. We will keep on slogging the assets back in the factory that find the lap time to design them, build them, get them out on the car and hopefully just force our way up the grid.”

Mercedes sit P4 in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, 75 points behind McLaren.

Read next: Mercedes W15 breakthrough as ‘clear direction’ found and ‘developments in pipeline’