More to come from Mercedes with ‘secret nuggets talked about in the paddock’

Michelle Foster
George Russell laps the Sakhir circuit in the Mercedes W15

George Russell drives the Mercedes W15.

Despite George Russell’s concerns his W15 is “not quick enough”, there are whispers in the paddock that there’s more to come from Mercedes with Naomi Schiff talking about “secret nuggets”.

This season Mercedes have put a heavily revised W15 on the track with the car featuring an innovative legality wire front wing as well as an adjustable suspension.

But while the team believes the car is a step forward, Russell saying it “feels more like a race car” than its predecessor, Mercedes are by no means on a par with defending champions Red Bull.

‘There is more coming from Mercedes than they’ve managed to show’

Where they genuinely are in the pecking order is anyone’s guess with pundits putting them anywhere from third to fifth fastest based on pre-season testing.

More, but not all, will be revealed this weekend as the teams take to the track for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Schiff believes there’s more to come from Mercedes, the former driver turned pundit saying the Brackley squad has a few “secret nuggets” in the pipeline.

“The long run from Lewis Hamilton has a few people in the paddock talking,” Schiff told Sky F1. “Their race pace looks promising.

“Obviously Ferrari was as well. That has been their Achilles heel and it looks like they’ve turned that around.

“There is more coming from Mercedes than they’ve managed to show.

“There were secret nuggets that I’ve heard quite a few people in the paddock talking about.” recommends

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Mercedes head into the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend well aware of the fact that they’re chasing Red Bull.

However, while there has been some suggestions that Red Bull have put yet more distance between themselves and their rivals, Mercedes technical boss James Allison insists they’ll made a “good fist” on developing the car to watch the RB20.

“I don’t think it’s any surprise to anyone that the cars down there [at Red Bull] have got their noses and perhaps a bit more of their face in front of those of us that are chasing,” he said.

“But I think we’ll make a good fist of the chasing and hopefully just develop strongly through the year.”

He says the team has already resolved some of their driveability issues. “I think we largely have,” he told Ted Kravitz.

“The bouncing is still a thing that’s going to be a threshold that all the cars in the pit lane will work up against until this generation of car moves on to something different.

“So there is still some bouncing that we can bury ourselves in or come out of just in pursuit of what the right performance compromise is.

“But the sort of horrid snappy rear end, that is happily not troubling us in the way that it did in the past.

“It’s mostly mechanical changes in the car but it’s always a marriage between the aerodynamic behaviour through the corner and the suspension.”

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