The Brackley-based squad launched a flooring improvement at the US Grand Prix that its technical director James Allison had previewed as being a ‘bellwether’ of its long-term potential.
However past the final word pace achieve, Mercedes has defined how a notable change in automotive traits – particularly in high-speed corners – was its greatest takeaway from the weekend.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff stated the distinction in how the automotive was so robust within the opening Esses part at Austin, in comparison with its battle on the comparable Suzuka format in Japan earlier this month, was one thing that was a specific enhance.
“After I look again on the Esses [in Japan], we had been gradual,” stated Wolff. “Right here, it was our greatest sector. So total we should be happy.”
Mercedes chief technical officer Mike Elliott confirmed the squad had taken a level of optimism about how the W14 had carried out.
“I feel, cautiously optimistic,” he stated when requested by Autosport in regards to the verdict on the automotive upgrades.
Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT04
“We got here right here attempting some bits that we had been hoping we would see type of good indicators for subsequent yr. However clearly, there’s solely a lot you are able to do with this yr’s automotive, as [there are] greater adjustments we would wish to make for subsequent yr’s.
“However to return right here to the circuit the place, most likely feeling a number of the excessive pace is perhaps exhausting for us, to really go in addition to we did, I feel is an efficient signal. Cautiously optimistic might be the best method of taking a look at it.”
Elliott defined that the upgraded flooring was particularly focused at addressing a weak spot the W14 had in excessive pace, however a key problem had been sorting it out with out it making the automotive’s stability worse.
“I feel we have seen, comparatively, we have been poor within the excessive pace over the latest races,” he stated.
“I feel we struggled a bit in Suzuka. After which I feel, actually, what the package deal was geared toward doing is attempt to enhance that prime pace, however doing so in a method the place we did not type of add any instability.”
Elliott felt that the Mercedes W14 was not missing in a single explicit space, and the important thing to catching Pink Bull in 2024 was in bettering a number of features of the automotive.
“In case you have a look at Pink Bull, they’re nonetheless the quickest automotive,” he stated. “I feel the gaps are closing up, and that is what we wish to be doing.
“I feel what we have to do is figure out how can we get that bit extra for subsequent yr. I feel there are some issues that we all know we wish to repair for subsequent yr’s automotive, however I am not going to clarify what they’re for good purpose.
“I feel simply typically we’ve acquired to maintain discovering that further little bit of tempo. We have got ourselves behind, and we’re enjoying catch up.
“I feel it is type of a bit bit from numerous totally different locations. However as all the time, many of the efficiency will come from aerodynamics.”