Could Toto Wolff reveal spell even bigger Mercedes W14 upgrades are on the way?

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton runs in FP2. Canada June 2023.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton drives a flying lap during free practice. Canada June 2023.

While Mercedes have played down the extent of their remaining W14 upgrade work, team boss Toto Wolff suggested there are still substantial changes coming in multiple stages.

Mercedes decided after the season-opener in Bahrain that they had gone down the wrong route by sticking with their ‘zero-pod’ sidepod philosophy and set about identifying a new direction.

And the journey down that alternative path began at the Monaco Grand Prix, Mercedes unveiling their new-look W14, which among the cluster of changes, most notably featured the switch to more conventional, Red Bull-esque sidepods.

The benefits were seen in Spain as Mercedes scored a double podium, with Lewis Hamilton also featuring on the Canada podium, down a position to P3 but this time 14 seconds behind F1’s dominant race winner Max Verstappen, a marked improvement on the Spanish GP deficit.

And while Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin suggested that the bulk of the tinkering with the W14 is complete, thanks largely to the restraints of the budget cap, Wolff has said otherwise.

Instead, the team principal and one-third owner claimed two further upgrade packages are on the way before the summer break, the first of these set to arrive at Silverstone, the round which follows the upcoming Austrian GP, and hinted that this one could be “larger” than the package that arrived in Monaco.

“Yeah, we’re bringing a larger one to Silverstone,” he said as per

“It’s just that the learnings have accelerated a lot since we changed some of the conceptual architecture. There should be decent steps coming in the next four races.” recommends

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That being said, even though the target of Verstappen in the Red Bull RB19 seemingly moved a big step closer for Mercedes after the Canadian GP, with further upgrades to come, Wolff stressed that the size of the task cannot be underestimated.

He also believes Verstappen had some performance left on the table should he have needed it.

“For us we didn’t expect to perform in Canada because of the car’s DNA at the moment, so it’s encouraging to be not so far away,” Wolff stated.

“But one must not forget Max is still having an easier time in the front, not cruising but still I think there is margin. So there’s quite the gain to catch up.”

While Hamilton made it back-to-back races where Mercedes have featured on the podium, it was not all positives for the team as George Russell was forced to retire from the Canadian GP.

Having been running P4, Russell got out of shape at the Turn 8/9 chicane and clattered the wall, and despite continuing to go from last to P8 after the repairs, he was later forced to retire with brake issues.

Mercedes nonetheless retain P2 in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, with their buffer over Aston Martin standing at 13 points.