Mercedes still targeting ‘better than just a podium’ as season end approaches

Henry Valantine
Mercedes driver George Russell racing at the Circuit of the Americas during the United States Grand Prix.

George Russell racing at the Circuit of the Americas during the United States Grand Prix.

Mercedes technical director James Allison has said the team still have eyes on a race win before the end of the season, with four rounds remaining in 2023.

Mercedes have not gone a full season without victory since 2011, holding onto that feat by taking the win in Brazil last year, and time is running out if the Silver Arrows are to go without a P1 finish this season.

But with Lewis Hamilton having come close to toppling Max Verstappen on the road last time out in Austin, albeit before his disqualification for excessive plank wear, the team appear to have made in-roads on the front-runners after their upgraded floor paid dividends at the weekend.

Mercedes aiming high as the end of 2023 nears

Hamilton praised the impact of the new floor on his W14, saying he “actually felt” the difference behind the wheel at the Circuit of The Americas which will give him extra confidence moving forward.

Addressing what the rest of the year might bring, Allison explained that the four remaining circuits all present varying challenges for different reasons.

But within that, Mercedes remain hopeful that after six podium finishes between Hamilton and George Russell so far this year, they will go further and onto the top step by the end of the year.

“They’re four quite different races,” Allison said in Mercedes’ post-USA debrief.

“We’ve got Mexico first, high altitude, thin air, a track where the asphalt is quite different to the ones we’ve just been at.

“And as long as we can keep the car cool there in the thin air of the Mexico track then I think we will be pretty decent. The corners ought to suit us, and the pace of the car should be good there.

“Brazil, a race that we won last year to our massive pleasure, is a track where again all the things we just put on the car should pay good dividends for us in the Interlagos track.

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“Then it’s Vegas. Vegas is going to be a bit of an adventure, something of a journey into the unknown.

“New track, loads and loads of opportunity to screw up there, but also opportunity to do well if you do your homework well and you prepare nicely.

“But the particular challenge of Vegas is going to be the temperature. It’s November, it’s the desert, it’s a night-time race, the track and the air temperature is going to be way, way colder than anything we’ve been used to running an F1 car at in recent seasons.

“Then finally Abu Dhabi, a sort of middle of the road sort of track where maybe the upgrade package will do just the sort of season average goodness that we might expect rather than being biased towards the high speed end where it’s absolutely at its best like it was in Austin.

“All four races differ in character, and we are very, very excited to go to them in a season where the points battle between us and Ferrari is pretty tight.

“We would like nothing more than to have four clean and tidy races to end the season and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that in one of those four the dice might roll in our favour and perhaps do better than just a podium.”

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