Mercedes predict two upcoming F1 races where the W14 has chance to shine

Sam Cooper
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton during the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix, Saturday. June 2023.

Lewis Hamilton during the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix, Saturday. June 2023.

Mercedes believe the Austrian Grand Prix will be one of the two upcoming tracks that will favour the new W14.

After another dismal start to the season, Mercedes’ form has taken a real upturn since the W14 was heavily modified for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The new concept was first put properly through its paces in Spain with both drivers finishing on the podium while Lewis Hamilton made it two from two last time out in Canada.

But Mercedes are not content solely with podiums and have desires to be able to challenge runaway leaders Red Bull.

Mercedes targeting Austria and Silverstone

Mercedes’ W14 is not the finished product though with ground still to be made top speed, DRS and traction out of low-speed corners and the team have revealed they will bring another substantial package to the British Grand Prix.

But first it is Austria and the Red Bull Ring and chief technical officer Mike Elliott believes the next two races will favour the characteristics of the Mercedes car.

“Having said that Canada was going to be difficult for us, it’s a bit difficult to stand here and say it is hard to say because we made a prediction about Canada!” he said. “But I think it’s always difficult to know.

“I think where we have seen the car struggling is more in the low-speed corners and so we start looking at circuits that have got more medium and high-speed content; we think we will do better there.

“So, Silverstone will be a good example of that. Austria shouldn’t be too bad for us either. So let’s hope we go well on both of those.”

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Mercedes ‘really pleased’ with performance of upgrade package

Having spent over a year scratching their heads trying to get performance, the change to a new concept has proved beneficial for Mercedes with the team instantly performing to a better standard.

Elliot said the Silver Arrows were “really pleased” with how the data from their simulations had translated into on-track performance and something they can build on.

“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,” the former technical director said.”

“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.