Key ‘weakness’ identified in James Allison’s Mercedes W14 progress report

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) in action during practice for the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal, June 2023.

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) in action during practice for the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal, June 2023.

Mercedes technical director James Allison has highlighted that slow corners are still a weakness for the team, despite recent improvements to the W14.

The significant upgrade package placed on the car in Monaco appears to have had the desired effect for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with the team having taken a double podium in Spain and Hamilton having made it into the top three again in Montreal at the following round.

There is still some way to go for Mercedes if they are to catch up to the dominance of Red Bull, however, and Allison said the work is “far from complete” on the car.

Slow corners still a ‘weakness’ for Mercedes

Hamilton admitted to Max Verstappen in the cooldown room after the Canadian Grand Prix that Mercedes “suck in the slower speed corners”, and Allison agreed that’s where the weak point of the W14 still lies at this moment in time.

Where the problems with its predecessor, the W13, had come in quicker corners, it appears the opposite is true this time around – and he admitted that Mercedes are unlikely to be fighting Red Bull on a regular basis until the car becomes competitive through all types of corner.

“The upgrade has more or less done what we expected it to do,” Allison told Auto Motor und Sport in Germany.

“I think the reason why Toto [Wolff] is cautious with his judgement is that this upgrade is far from complete.

“It has improved the car in medium-fast and fast corners, but still has weaknesses in slower corners.

“Unfortunately, there are a lot of them on the tracks that are coming up now. Until we improve all aspects of the car, we will not be competitive.” recommends

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Mercedes ‘already thinking about the next upgrades’

The next large package of upgrades for the W14 has been pencilled in for the British Grand Prix, the round after Austria this weekend, and Allison is already looking ahead for what is to come rather than still ruminating about what was put on the car in Monaco in May.

With team principal Toto Wolff having ordered a wholesale change in car concept earlier in the year, there is still a lot of work to be done on the W14 in the coming weeks and months.

“To be honest, I’m not even thinking about this package anymore, I’m already thinking about the next one,” he stated.

“We were pretty sure that with this package we will be one or two tenths closer to the top, but we need some more upgrades until we are really competitive.

“The state of development the car is in now is already history for us. It is the foundation for the next steps.”

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