Toto Wolff confirms Imola GP upgrades as Mercedes find ‘clear path forward’ with W15

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton leads Nico Hulkenberg and George Russell, Mercedes

Mercedes have yet to record a Grand Prix podium in 2024

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has confirmed the team are bringing more upgrades to the W15 at Imola this weekend, after their first updates in Miami last time out.

Mercedes have largely not matched up to Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren so far this season, but Wolff has said the team now have a “clear understanding” of where they need to improve – though acknowledged it will take time for this work to “bear fruit”.

Mercedes to bring more W15 upgrades with ‘clear path forward’ for development set

Having not yet made it onto the podium in 2024, there are still 18 rounds to go for Mercedes to make the best of the year and catch up to their rivals.

With the ‘European season’ beginning at Imola, this was traditionally where upgrades would start to be brought to cars – but new parts have been brought throughout the grid early in the season.

Mercedes put their first minor upgrades on the W15 in Miami, and Wolff has confirmed that more changes will be in place at Imola, but the full results of their planned updates will not be seen for multiple rounds to come yet.

“We are now one quarter of the way through the season. The first six races have not been straightforward, but we have built a clear understanding of where we need to improve and shaped a clear path forward to tackle that,” Wolff said ahead of the weekend.

“It will be several races before we see this bear fruit, but everyone is working hard to bring them as soon as is possible.

“In the meantime, we will be looking to maximise the package we have. We are bringing some more updates to Imola and hopefully they push us in the right direction.”

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The race weekend will return to its standard structure after two consecutive Sprints, meaning Mercedes will be able to fine-tune the W15 more than the previous two rounds – with three hours of practice in play this weekend.

Despite that, though, Wolff warned that the iconic track is one that is still a difficult one to master.

“After two Sprints in a row, we now go back to the more usual weekend format,” he added. “It affords us more time to refine the set-up, but Imola is still a demanding circuit that challenges both the car and the driver.

“It has several fast and flowing sections, but some low-speed corners too and a tricky, bumpy surface. It’s narrow, which makes overtaking difficult, and has plenty of elevation. All that combines to provide a stern test and one we’re looking forward to.”

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