(Motorsport-Total.com) – “Like I said: Monaco is definitely not the ideal place to evaluate updates or changes to a car,” said Mercedes driver George Russell. However, the question about innovations is most popular after Friday practice in Formula 1 for the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes W14 during Formula 1 practice Friday at Monaco 2023
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff answered her on “Sky” channel like this: “At least the update isn’t much worse than the car was before. That’s a good thing for Monaco.”
Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says his Mercedes W14 feels “generally comfortable” with the new parts. The changes to the car were “noticeable”.
What Mercedes changed in the W14
In which area has the stellar brand specifically increased,” I would like [aber] Say nothing,” Hamilton continued. Just a lot: “I hope we now have a platform to build on. “
Thursday Monaco: Mercedes update revealed
“Zero Pod” is history! We show you the first images of the new Mercedes side skirt as part of the update for the W14.
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This platform differs significantly from the previous expansion phase of the Mercedes racing car. Or as Wolf says: “The whole chassis is different, as are the front axle and lower body.”
But first things first: Mercedes raised the upper wishbones on the front wheel suspension as well as changed their shape. “This improves airflow to the side box and therefore also the cooling capacity of the car,” the team explains.
At the leading edge of the lower bodywork, Mercedes changed the angle of attack of the air deflectors to direct air more precisely under the car and generate more downforce at the rear of the car.
But the most striking thing is the new shape of the side horns, because the “zero capsule” concept has been abandoned in favor of the traditional solution. From the higher, wider air intake and the new waist in the side box, Mercedes expects “improved airflow to the edge of the lower body,” which should enhance lower body performance and also improve airflow to the rear.
Photo gallery: “Zero Pod” gold: this is what the Mercedes update looks like
The latter is also the purpose of the sweeping hood introduced by the team in Monaco. However, the cap should also provide more downforce. More downforce is also the key word for the modified rear spoiler with a greater angle of attack and for the additional successive flaps on the car’s rear axle.
Russell isn’t fully there at practice on Friday
For all these innovations, Wolfe attests to the “fantastic job” of “everyone involved at Brackley” and Hamilton says “thank you” to colleagues at the factory. The reason: “Everyone put in many hours of hard work to be able to [mit dem Update] can compete here. Glad we kept it on track.”
It wasn’t normal: Russell in particular complained loudly on the radio about the lack of confidence in the car during Friday practice, and on top of that he breached the speed limit by 0.2 km/h in the pit lane (cost: €100).
Why didn’t he do like Hamilton? “The car was very beefy on the rear axle,” says Wolf. “George said I couldn’t get him to the limit, or else I’d put him in the crash barrier.”
Different voices for Mercedes drivers
Perhaps this is partly due to a different setup compared to the Hamilton in the sister car, adds Wolff: “We’ve driven a different set, but now we have at least one direction that will work for George.”
The results show at least one positive trend: In In the second practice session, Russell was level 12, exactly 0.233 seconds behind Hamilton, who finished sixth. In practice one, Hamilton was third and Russell only P15, with the Mercedes drivers a second behind.
But it still represented a deficit on Russell’s part. In a direct comparison, Hamilton loses time, especially in very narrow sections of the track, namely in the hairpin curve, the harbor front, and again in the area immediately before the start and finish. However, Russell was able to partially, if not fully, make up the deficit over the following straights.
How Russell wants to turn things around by Saturday
“I think George needs a few laps to really start. It was the same in Baku,” says team boss Wolff. “It’s important that he improves. He’s in full swing in qualifying. I’m not worried about that.”
And Russell knows his duties: “Now we have to see what we can get out of the tyres. The basic performance of the car is good.”
Hamilton, however, wants to “clearly recognize” “the missing place in my case,” he says. “This is a topic for our debriefing. We’ll brainstorm and see what we can do with the resources available.”
Wolff: No chance against Red Bull in Monaco, but…
Wolff thinks it won’t be enough against Red Bull: “Max [Verstappen] He was in his league for the long haul. You can see: he has the power in the car and doesn’t wear out the tires. But it was very tight for one lap on Friday. So he was under the impression that he was ‘going in the right direction’ for Mercedes.
Russell notes that he “definitely improved” in the second training session. “But we have to think about something overnight. Because qualifying is the most important thing this weekend and qualifying is the unit in which we have the biggest difficulties,” he says. “We are always better on Sunday. The last year and a half has shown that.”
According to Russell, Mercedes’ mission in Monaco is clear: to “flip” the current trend and shine on Saturday. But it won’t be easy, because Saturday’s form isn’t a matter of driving incapacity, “but something inherent to the car,” says Russell. And his conclusion: “Saturday will probably not be easy for us.”
Mercedes had not yet run its engines to full capacity
But Wolfe sounded confident when he said, “We had it [im Freien Training] The engine has not been moved yet. There may be more. I think in the end everything will happen in twenty or three tenths of a time.
That could be a positive or negative for Mercedes, adds Russell: “We’ve seen several times this year that a McLaren, an Alpine or even a Haas car lands in front of us on Saturday but disappears nowhere on Sunday. Could they do it too this time?” They will probably be a problem for us on Sunday.”
“That’s why we have to work up to our qualifying pace and put the car to the test next week,” says Russell. Especially since Mercedes is missing half a second to the top.
That’s why Hamilton doubts he will be in front in Monaco: “I don’t think we have half a second left, but we’ll see.” He had an “excellent day overall” starting in Monaco and is looking forward to building on that.
Everything else, final evaluation of updates, will have to wait until the end of the week. Russell: “We’re almost putting our innovations aside for a while and then we’ll do that next weekend [in Barcelona] Thoughts on this subject.
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