Mercedes reveal specific area of W15 focus following Melbourne disaster

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes will look to bounce back from their Melbourne woes with a stronger showing in Japan, the team having used the time between rounds to focus on improving the W15 in a way that will certainly please Lewis Hamilton.

It has been a rough start to the F1 2024 campaign for Mercedes, though the frustrations intensified at the Australian Grand Prix with neither Hamilton nor team-mate George Russell seeing the chequered flag. Hamilton dropped out with an engine failure, while Russell crashed in the closing stages while pursuing Fernando Alonso.

A more consistent Mercedes W15 to appear at Suzuka?

It was after his Q2 elimination that Hamilton bemoaned the “inconsistency” of the W15, having in the final practice session finished within a tenth of Charles Leclerc’s P1 time in the Ferrari.

So, Hamilton will be delighted to hear from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff that the team has knuckled down on making the W15 more consistent as Formula 1 arrives at the fourth stop on the F1 2024 calendar, the Japanese Grand Prix.

“After a difficult weekend in Australia, it’s good to get back racing in Japan this weekend,” said Wolff.

“Since Melbourne, we have been focused on improving the consistency of the W15. The car has shown signs of strong performance on occasion, but we’ve struggled to deliver this at the critical moments across the first three races.

“Suzuka, with its famously fast sweeps mixed with some low-speed content, plus elevation change, will provide a different challenge to the circuits we’ve raced at so far. It is therefore another good opportunity to build on our learnings and analyse the work that has been undertaken since Australia.”

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The Japanese GP has come around earlier this year, with Formula 1’s visit to Suzuka traditionally having taken place in the closing stages of the World Championship in recent times.

Wolff though does not believe this will have a “major impact” on the track conditions and certainly not on the always passionate and lively Japanese F1 fanbase.

“We head to Japan at a slightly earlier time of year than usual this season,” Wolff noted. “Whilst it is unlikely to have a major impact, it will be important to understand any differences that this causes in terms of track conditions.

“One thing that won’t change is the remarkable support from the Japanese fans. It is always a fantastic atmosphere at Suzuka and I am sure it will be the same once again this weekend.”

Mercedes go into the Japanese Grand Prix P4 in the Constructors’ Championship, 71 points behind leaders Red Bull.

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