Mercedes send most ominous warning yet to Red Bull with significant upgrade imminent

Henry Valantine
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen followed by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Canada June 2023.

Lewis Hamilton trails Max Verstappen heading through Turn 2 during the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal June 2023.

Mercedes have fired a warning about their competitiveness to their rivals, with a big upgrade due at Silverstone in July.

Mercedes’ form has improved significantly in recent races, with the first part of their wholesale changes to the W14 having been put in place during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

Since then, they scored their first double podium of the season in Spain, before Lewis Hamilton backed that up with another finish in the top three in Canada last weekend.

But such is the apparent confidence within the team and the success of their upgrades, one unnamed engineer is quoted as having told Auto Motor und Sport in Germany: “We are just one upgrade away from a win,” with team principal Toto Wolff adding on upgrades there will be “a big one at Silverstone, a smaller one afterwards.”

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Chief technical officer Mike Elliott was pleased with how Mercedes carried their improved performance from Spain in particular over to Canada, with the team’s predictions having been that they would fall backwards in performance compared to their rivals at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Wolff had believed the characteristics of the W14 were already well-suited to Barcelona and the car was in a “mega window” to perform there, but the pace on show in Montreal was a positive sign for the team moving forward.

“As you all know, we brought an upgrade a couple of races ago. We’ve now had a chance to see what that performs like at different circuits,” Elliott said in Mercedes’ post-race debrief.

“First of all, we are really pleased to say that it has done what we expected. It’s helped the car move forward and we are generally more competitive.

“We said before the weekend that Canada will be a more difficult circuit for us; it’s mainly low speed corners and straights, something that hasn’t been brilliant for us in the past.

“So, to come out of this weekend to qualify with the cars fourth and fifth, promoted to third and fourth and then to race in a strong way, beaten by Alonso but for Lewis to race to third and in George’s case to show strong performance up until his crash I think it is a good result for us and hopefully something we can take into the next few races.”