George Russell revealed Mercedes pursuing a new development path with their W14 meant they have found performance gains over the past few weeks more than what they’ve achieved over the winter break.
Mercedes have finally decided that the path they are on with their design philosophy of their slim-sidepod W14, which they persisted with despite their 2022 failure – will take them to a dead end, and major changes are planned for the car which are expected to be revealed at Imola’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in May.
Mercedes have also revealed changes to their technical team, as Mike Elliott, the man behind Mercedes’ W13 and W14, will move to the Chief Technical Officer role previously held by James Ellison over the past 20 months, as the latter returns to the active role of Technical Director to lead the team’s recovery plan with what could be considered a B-Spec car.
While the media has been singing Mercedes’ praises over their dominant period between 2014 and 2021 – they lost the Drivers’ Crown in 2021 but put up and epic fight with Red Bull – the eight-time Constructors’ Champions are now in the spotlight for the wrong reasons after their repeated woes in 2022 and 2023.
Big changes are incoming
George Russell, quoted by Formula 1’s Official Website, commented: “I mean, I don’t read what’s been said in the news all the time, but you know, we’re here to win, we’re here to fight for victories and for the championship, and clearly we’re not in a position to do that at the moment.
“But big changes are incoming,” he revealed. “Naturally you can’t get things brought that quickly to the car, but I think in due course, we’ll see some big changes and hopefully the lap times represent that.”
Russell revealed he has tried out the upgraded W14 in the Mercedes simulator but refrained from revealing much; he said: “We’re working really hard at the moment with these changes. I won’t give too much away, and we need to make sure they work as expected.
“But as we’ve said a number of times, we’re probably finding more gains in the past two or three weeks than we found over the whole winter by clearly developing in the wrong window – so it’s definitely heading in the right direction,” the Briton maintained.
Mercedes are currently third in the 2023 F1 Constructors’ Championship, 67 points behind leader Red Bull with three races done so far, their best result being Lewis Hamilton’s second place at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix.