Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has confirmed their 2021 challenger will get one final upgrade package, set to arrive at the British GP.
Formula 1 is in Austria for the second of back-to-back weekends at the Red Bull Ring, but it was after the Styrian GP which kicked off this double-header that confusion emerged over Mercedes’ stance on the W12.
After watching on from P2 as Max Verstappen stormed to victory, Lewis Hamilton told his Mercedes team that they needed an upgrade of some sort, but he did not believe that there was one coming.
Wolff confirmed that there were no plans to develop the W12 further, but that was then countered by Mercedes’ chief technical officer James Allison and their motorsport strategy director James Vowles.
Hamilton would then also make a U-turn, stating that he knew of the planned upgrade, and now Wolff has also changed course, saying one last “development” is coming for the British Grand Prix.
“The wind tunnel doesn’t work anymore on this year’s car,” he said when Sky F1 asked him about the flow-vis paint seen around the diffuser area during Friday practice, and whether that indicated some wind tunnel work was going on for new parts.
“There are not going to be big parts changes. There is one more development that is going to come onto the car in Silverstone, but that has been up the sleeve for a long time.”
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) July 2, 2021
Red Bull may have won the last four races in succession, but still neither the Drivers’ or Constructors’ titles are out of reach for Mercedes.
Verstappen tops the Drivers’ Standings by 18-points over Hamilton heading into the Austrian GP, while Red Bull’s advantage over Mercedes stands at 40 points.
And Wolff said there is no need for him to motivate his team any further, while pointing out several incidents which have gone against them this season which have been defining in the battle against Red Bull.
“They don’t need motivation, they are all fired up,” said Wolff of his Mercedes team.
“It’s so close, you can see if Valtteri [Bottas] just finishes second in Monte Carlo which he could have, we would have been right there in the Constructors’ Championship.
“And obviously after Max had the tyre problem in Baku Lewis could have won, so the Drivers’ Championship would have been wide open.
“That is why these things can swing from race weekend to race weekend.”