Timo Glock believes Mercedes’ Austin upgrade is a clear indication the team understands the direction they need to push with their 2024 car.
Mercedes bolted a new floor onto the W14 at the United States Grand Prix with all the pre-race comments being about how this is being done with the 2024 W15 in mind.
Although Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff was hoping for immediate gains with the “significant” upgrade, he said it was important that the new floor showed Mercedes that they’re heading in the right direction.
Lewis Hamilton ‘more confidence’ in his upgraded Mercedes W14
Hamilton bagged, at least until his post-race disqualification, podiums in the Sprint and the Grand Prix as he was second across the line in both events and just 2.225s down on Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the Grand Prix.
Although he later lost the Grand Prix runner-up result, disqualified when a post-race inspection found his plank to be less than the minimum 9mm in thickness, the Briton was buoyed by his performance.
“It was really positive to feel the steps that we have taken,” he said. “Maybe it was only a 0.1 upgrade for example, but there was at least a 0.1 of confidence that it gave me so this helped me.
“I think the step that we were able to take this weekend has given me a little bit more confidence in the car to throw it into the corner so it was positive.”
Although Hamilton was second at the line, his team-mate George Russell had a tougher time in Austin where he was eighth in the Sprint and seventh in the Grand Prix before being promoted to fifth as Charles Leclerc was also disqualified for his Ferrari failing the post-race check.
The former Williams driver wasn’t happy with his weekend, saying: “It’s been a really really scrappy weekend, scrappy season all in all, and try and get that out of the way this year while trying to secure that P2 for the team.”
Timo Glock’s bold prediction for Mercedes in 2024
Hamilton’s performance at the Circuit of The Americas included two P3s in the qualifying sessions with the seven-time World Champion 0.139s off pole position on Friday and only 0.069s on Verstappen’s P1 time in the Sprint Shootout.
Glock believes showing pace over one lap and also the Grand Prix bodes well for Mercedes’ chances with the former Formula 1 driver saying the Brackley squad could start next year’s championship with a car that’s on a par with the Red Bull from the get-go.
“Mercedes now understands the direction in which things need to go,” he wrote in his post-race column for Sky Deutschland.
“I think the car is simply more reminiscent of Red Bull and McLaren. It was clear to see that things are moving more and more in the right direction – even now with the update, which worked very well for Lewis Hamilton.
“That makes it all the more inexplicable to me why George Russell had such problems.
“But at Mercedes, they have learned enough to bring a car for next year that is on a par with Red Bull right from the start, and I’m very excited about that.
“Although it is also clear that Red Bull and all other teams are also developing further. So it’s always difficult when you fall behind.”