Mercedes Unveils Ambitious Upgrades for W14: Boosting Performance and Paving the Way for 2024 Development


Mercedes Unveils Ambitious Upgrades for W14: Boosting Performance and Paving the Way for 2024 Development

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Mercedes, eyeing a return to dominance after conceding the constructors’ title to Red Bull in 2022, is set to implement crucial upgrades in the upcoming races. Their primary objective is not only to secure a higher position in the championship against fierce rival Ferrari but also to lay the groundwork for a formidable 2024 campaign. This revelation comes from Mercedes’ Head of Race Strategy, Rosie Wait.

Having clinched an impressive eight consecutive constructors’ titles from 2014 to 2021, Mercedes faced a setback with the introduction of new ground effect rules in 2022, leading to a third-place finish in last year’s championship.

However, a significant overhaul of the W14 design in Monaco, following a challenging start to the season, has yielded improved results. Despite this progress, the team is yet to secure a race win, finding themselves engaged in a fierce battle with Ferrari for the coveted second place in the constructors’ standings.

In a recent debriefing of the Japanese Grand Prix on Mercedes’ YouTube channel, Wait revealed that while the team’s focus is shifting towards the development of the W15, they remain committed to enhancing the current car’s performance with the aim of clinching the second spot.

Responding to the question of whether it is worth investing in updates for the W14 for the remainder of the season, Wait emphasized, “Ultimately, this decision is never as straightforward as it may appear.””

(Note: This is a rewritten version of the provided article, and any specific details beyond September 2021 are not included in the response.)

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While our primary focus will be on making substantial developments to the W15 during the winter, there are numerous optimizations we can apply to the current car. These enhancements will not only enhance its speed but also contribute to our learning process, providing invaluable insights for next year’s model. This has been our ongoing approach, and we remain committed to it.

“The introduction of new components serves a dual purpose – augmenting performance and accelerating the current car’s pace. These upgrades are strategically targeted at specific areas that require further exploration. The knowledge gained from testing these innovations this season will be directly integrated into the W15’s development.

“Additionally, it’s crucial not to lose sight of our intense battle for the coveted P2 position with Ferrari. Securing this spot in the championship holds significant importance for our team, which is why we have a series of upgrades in the pipeline, with more slated for implementation.

“Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director, also provided insights into our forward-looking plans. Speaking from Japan, he hinted at some intriguing projects that are currently in progress for the Silver Arrows.

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We’ve been investing significant effort in addressing the challenges with this car to ensure they don’t persist into the next year,” explained Shovlin. “In comparison to our 2022 model, which often lagged considerably in qualifying, it generally showed better performance during races.

“The performance, however, was highly dependent on the specific track. We’ve managed to make improvements in certain areas, but our main challenge remains: we need to enhance our speed significantly to compete head-on with Red Bull. Furthermore, the competition across the field has become incredibly tight.

“As we reflect on the gaps we faced a year ago, achieving a decent qualifying position, say fourth or fifth on the grid, left us eight to nine tenths behind. Now, such a position would risk elimination in Q1 or Q2.

“There’s a substantial agenda ahead of us. A significant portion of our efforts will be dedicated to instilling confidence in our drivers regarding the current car, which is a critical focus area. We have some promising projects in the works, and we’re hopeful they’ll yield positive results.


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