Mercedes: We still have more performance that we can add

lewis hamilton 2021 styrian grand prix mercedes

Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles has insisted that development has not yet stopped on the W12, explaining that the team can improve performance in numerous ways.

For perhaps the first time in the turbo-hybrid era, Mercedes looked totally out of answers at last weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen sealing a dominant win to extend his and Red Bull’s lead in the drivers’ and constructors’ championship.

Formula 1 returns to the same circuit this weekend with things appearing somewhat bleak for Mercedes, especially with team principal Toto Wolff claiming after their Styrian loss that the team’s primary focus was on 2022.

However, chief technical officer James Allison has since clarified that updates to the 2021 machine are coming, with Vowles adding that will look to make improvements to the whole car, rather than just focusing on aerodynamics.

“This package has a number of ways that we can improve it,” Vowles said. “We still have more performance that we can add to it and aerodynamic improvements are just one facet of car performance.

“We have other elements of this car that we can add performance to and we are continuously doing so.

“Furthermore, you can always optimise and improve the package you have. You don’t normally extract everything out of it from the word go. Every time you run on track you get more and more information and data, you learn a little bit more about how to use the car, how to use the tyres and how to optimise the package together.

“The result of that is that yes in terms of big aerodynamic upgrades, will they be reduced for us, but not just us, all teams this year? I suspect so. However, that doesn’t mean that the car performance will be static.”