Mercedes plan spate of upgrades to close on Red Bull · RaceFans

Mercedes will bring “consistent” upgrades for their W14 in the coming races, says team principal Toto Wolff, as they strive to cut their deficit to Red Bull.

The team failed to start the 2023 season as close to the world champions as they hoped and have even been out-scored by power unit customers Aston Martin so far this year.

Mercedes lie third in the constructors’ championship, nine points behind Aston Martin and 67 behind leaders Red Bull ahead of the fourth round of the season in Azerbaijan. Wolff previously indicated during the Australian Grand Prix that Mercedes would not bring any performance upgrades until the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Imola in May.

“The next three races, we won’t be adding any performance,” he said after the end of Friday practice for the Australian Grand Prix. “[It’s now about] finding the best set-up solutions and [getting] the tyres in the right window.”

However Wolff has confirmed the team does plan to introduce some new parts over the coming rounds. “We will consistently be bringing upgrades to the car over the next few races, which is something to look forward to,” said Wolff in a Q&A posted on Mercedes’ website.

“But there is no such thing as a magic bullet that transforms the car, and it’s about being realistic with your expectations. Hopefully we will see a steady improvement.”

Lewis Hamilton has commented in recent races that he lacks confidence in the handling of team’s new car as a result of his seating position. Mercedes chief technical officer James Allison indicated the team plans to make changes to its suspension, which may help give Hamilton the feel he needs.

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Wolff says he has full confidence in the ability of the team’s chassis and power unit factories in Brackley and Brixworth to bring Mercedes back into contention for race victories.

“The machine is continuing to run in Brixworth and Brackley at a fast pace,” he said. “What you see on track is only the tip of the iceberg, but the performance of the car and power unit is made in these two factories.

“The mindset is great, the spirit is there and I see a lot of buzz. I believe 100 percent in our organisation, because our perspective is not always on a single race weekend, not even a single season. It’s on trying to build our capability so we are successful over multiple years, while recognising the fact you are never going to win every single season, because no sports team has ever done it.”

With Mercedes already having scored less than half the points of rivals Red Bull, Wolff says the team’s aim is to improve their car more quickly than Red Bull can develop their RB19.

“We understand the knowledge that we need to recover. We need to have a steeper development curve than Red Bull and fundamentally, we want to compete for race wins,” he said. “They are setting the benchmark now.

“We trust in the process and in the people, and there will be setbacks. But if the trajectory is up, that’s where we want to be heading.”

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