Mercedes to run planned Imola upgrades in Monaco
By Ian Parkes
Thursday 18th May, 2023 - 10:37pm
Mercedes has confirmed there will be no further delay to its planned upgrades despite the cancellation of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The team was due to unveil a raft of updates for its W14 as it begins the process of trying to close the considerable deficit to runaway leaders Red Bull this season.
The race at Imola was due to provide Mercedes with the ideal opportunity to run the rule over a new front suspension and associated bodywork, along with a new floor, affording what team principal Toto Wolff hopes will be “a stable platform”.
The team has so far struggled with the car, in particular, its rear-end stability which has proved difficult to handle, especially for seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton.
After the opening qualifying session of the season in Bahrain, Wolff suggested the concept of the car would have to be radically altered to make it more driveable for Hamilton and team-mate George Russell.
Mercedes, however, managed to find a development direction, the first signs of which were due to be revealed at Imola but are now on hold for another seven days.
Whilst it is understood other teams that had been due to run updates this weekend have opted to delay until the Spanish Grand Prix the week after Monaco – such as Ferrari with a revised suspension – Mercedes is staying loyal to its plans.
A Mercedes representative has confirmed to Speedcafe that despite the unique nature of Monaco’s low-speed, high-downforce circuit, the upgrades will be present.
Whilst Mercedes will be able to gather data in Monaco from the planned package, Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya will naturally afford the team a better opportunity to analyse in detail what it has developed.
Speaking prior to the cancellation of the race at Imola with regard to the expectations of the updates, trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said: “We do hope that it is quicker, we hope that it’s better in terms of qualifying and race pace.
“The key thing though is that we are not just looking to bring a lap time update, we are looking to head off in a different development direction.
“One that we think gives us a better chance in the long term of being able to challenge for race wins and world championships.”
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