Mercedes’ Head of Race Strategy Rosie Wait explained that all the new parts the team will bring to their 2023 Formula 1 car, the W14 will target areas they need to understand more.
Like all other teams, Mercedes is now focusing on their 2024 F1 car, the W15, a car both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are counting they days to get their hands on.
But Ferrari is only 20 points behind Mercedes in the 2023 F1 Constructors’ Championship, and Frederic Vasseur insisted they will be taking the fight to their rivals to secure the runner up position behind Red Bull.
As such, Mercedes are still upgrading the W14 but in a way that will help them ensure they benefit with their 2024 challenger.
Rosie Wait, Mercedes‘ strategy head, spoke in a post Suzuka video debrief, and shed some light in the team’s upgrades’ strategy for the rest of 2023.
She explained: “The new parts we bring to the track do both; hopefully they add performance and make the current car go faster, but they are all specifically targeted around areas where we need to further our understanding.
“The things we will learn from testing them this year will directly feed into the development of the W15. We also mustn’t lose sight of the fact that we are in a tight battle for P2 with Ferrari and that position in the championship is really important to all of us.
“So, we have upgrades in the pipeline and will continue to be bringing them to the car,” Wait concluded.
Mercedes not clinging on to any previous concepts
Needless to say, and after Mercedes dropped their slim sidepod concept since the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix, the team’s 2024 single seater will be radically different from the W14.
Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin explained in Japan: “We are changing the car quite considerably for next year.
“Whether or not we can solve all the issues that we’ve got on the handling, that will depend on a number of projects delivering.
“Those projects are underway. They are not complete, but we have got some good directions to try and improve that,” he revealed.
“When we launched our best cars, 2015 or 2019, those years, we didn’t know they were going to be great cars when we developed them, you are just working as hard as you can trying to find as much performance as you can,” Shovlin went on.
“On a lot of those cars, we missed targets by quite a chunk in terms of performance but what we do know is that if you don’t set very ambitious targets, you’re probably not setting them high enough.
“We are certainly not clinging on to any concepts that we’ve had before,” he declared. “We are very open-minded.
“We’ve had a pretty chastening couple of years, and we are a team that’s working very hard to try and get back to the front,” the Mercedes engineer concluded.
Big Question: Can Mercedes bounce back with their 2024 Formula 1 car, the W15?