Mercedes name two key focuses for final 10 races as they target title push

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen overtakes Lewis Hamilton. Hungary July 2023

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen overtakes Lewis Hamilton. Hungary July 2023

Mercedes have identified their two main areas of focus for the final 10 races as Formula 1 returns from its summer shutdown.

For the first time in four weeks, it is a Formula 1 race week as the sport returns with the Dutch Grand Prix this weekend.

With positions still to be won and lost, teams must decide where best to allocate their resources and Mercedes have detailed their two focuses for the final 10 races of the campaign.

Results and research the aim for Mercedes in 2023

While the title is all but mathematically out of their reach, Mercedes are still in a battle for P2. They lead Aston Martin by 51 points but for a previous eight-time consecutive Constructors’ champion, anything less than first will be seen as a failure.

With that in mind, the higher-ups must decide how much focus to put into their 2024 car, and chief technical officer Mike Elliott has admitted that balance is their main focus for the final 10 races.

“Everybody has been pushing hard in the factory, so the break is important,” Elliott said heading into the summer shutdown. “We’ll get more out of everyone too when they are back refreshed.

“When we return, our focus will be on two things. First, making sure we are learning everything we can and feeding it into next year’s car. And then the fight for P2 in the championship. While we want to be winning titles, P2 is still important for everyone in the factories. It’s important to show progress from last year and end the year strongly. We want to take the momentum into the winter.”

James Allison, the man who Elliott swapped jobs with earlier this year, insisted that P2 “really matters for all of us”, even if it does fall short of their initial aims.

“At the start of the year we were fourth quickest, looking at our customers who were beating us, and that was frustrating,” the technical director said. “Ferrari were beating us too. Little by little we are gradually putting them behind us. Everything is playing a part in it. From strategy to engineering, reliability, manufacturing, and the drivers who are metronomic in their ability to turn half-opportunities into points.

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“Although it falls short of our initial aims, securing P2 nevertheless really matters for all of us. Especially in the second half of the season when the tone will be shifting to the W15.”

As for when Mercedes hope to be fighting for the title, they believe it is possible to do so in 2024.

“Our aim is to win championships. Unfortunately, we are not in that position this year but we want to be next year,” Elliott said. “We’ve got to get that balance right between getting all the learnings we can with our current car and trying to put most of our effort into next year’s car.”

“At this stage of the year the wind tunnel is heavily focused on 2024,” Allison added. “Large chunks of the drawing office, vehicle dynamics, and manufacturing for long-lead time production items are starting to gather their skirts.

“From the summer break onwards, next year’s car is where the largest call is answered but that also gives opportunities for the W14 too.”

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