Mercedes’ F1 2023 recovery continues with key British GP upgrade for W14

Oliver Harden
Mercedes Silverstone front wing Sam Cooper photograph. Britain July 2023

Mercedes Silverstone front wing Sam Cooper photograph. Britain July 2023

Mercedes have arrived at the British Grand Prix armed with a new front wing as the team continue their recovery from a slow start to the F1 2023 season at Silverstone.

The eight-time Constructors’ Champions were forced into a redesign of their W14 car after a challenging start to the campaign, with a heavily revised chassis – featuring a more conventional sidepod design and Red Bull-esque anti-dive suspension elements – arriving in time for the Monaco GP at the end of May.

Despite an upturn in results in Spain and Canada as Lewis Hamilton claimed two consecutive podium finishes, both Hamilton and George Russell have remained some way short of challenging the dominant Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

Mercedes aiming to take another step with new front wing

With Mercedes insistent that the Monaco upgrade was only the first step in an all-new development direction, the team will hope to take the next step with the arrival of a revised front wing at Silverstone.

According to the pre-weekend upgrade document published by the FIA, the changes are aimed at achieving “cleaner [air] flow and redistributed vorticity”, improving flow to – and therefore the performance of – the bodywork and the floor, which is said to be the key performance differentiator in F1’s latest ground effect era.

Mercedes are not the only team to bring a key revision to Silverstone, with McLaren bringing the second step of their ambitious three-stage upgrade plan after Lando Norris claimed the team’s best result of the season with fourth place in Austria last weekend.

McLaren have introduced a new front wing, nose, rear corner and rear suspension for the British GP, with the team having moved within 18 points of Alpine in the fight for fifth in the Constructors’ standings.

Alpine have responded with a new front wing of their own, which they hope will provide “better low-speed management of the wake and reduces losses inboard of the front tyre.”

With the bottom four teams currently separated by nine points, all are aiming to take control of the battle at Silverstone by bringing major improvements to their cars.

Currently seventh, Haas have introduced a new front suspension, front corner and beam wing as they seek to extend their slender two-point advantage over Alfa Romeo, who have responded with a revised diffuser, floor body, floor fences, rear corner and rear suspension.

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Williams will be running with new front and rear wings this week, while AlphaTauri – rooted to the bottom of the standings with just two points from the first nine races –  have brought a new diffuser, engine cover, floor, rear suspension, rear wing and beam wing.

Back at the front, meanwhile, Red Bull (front corner) and Aston Martin (front wing, rear corner) have both made tweaks described as specific for the challenges of Silverstone this weekend.

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