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Mercedes imminent upgrade package revealed

Mercedes F1 have confirmed a crucial upgrade package for the E15.

Mercedes will introduce an important set of upgrades at the upcoming Miami GP. Round six of the F1 season, which will be another Sprint race weekend, is an opportunity to move forward with the W15. A series of changes will be implemented to the German constructor’s challenger, with the intention of reversing their downward trajectory. Last weekend was another reminder of the Silver Arrow’s limitations, which their next package should address.

Despite a few highlights, the Chinese GP was generally negative for Toto Wolff’s squad. An impressive lap in Friday’s Sprint qualifying put Lewis Hamilton in a strong position for the Saturday race. He converted this opportunity in clinical fashion, taking second place behind Max Verstappen.

Although Fernando Alonso’s defence helped the British driver, it was still an encouraging afternoon for Mercedes. The same cannot be said for the next 48 hours, which saw the W15 struggle for performance.

Hamilton’s P18 in qualifying – albeit due to a mistake in turn 14 – was the first indication that things would worsen. George Russell didn’t enjoy a much better session, finishing at the bottom of the top 10. This underwhelming pace continued into Sunday when the Brackley-based team found themselves slower than McLaren and Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin.

Whilst a lack of points from Lance Stroll should help Mercedes claim 4th in the standings, their ambitions of challenging Red Bull are currently beyond reach.

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Mercedes prepares updates for Imola

In this context, Toto Wolff is optimistic that upgrades can improve the situation:

“We know that today’s result is not strong enough overall, so we must dig deep to make improvements,” he explained in the Mercedes race review.

“The pack behind Red Bull is close, and small details can make a big difference in terms of finishing position. 

“We have developments to bring in the coming races, which we hope are a step forward and will improve the car.”

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The nature of these upgrades is still unknown. However, since this will be an important package, it is reasonable to expect a new floor, given the role this component plays in generating downforce. Regardless of the specificities, the parts brought to Miami will represent the Silver Arrows’ first major changes of 2024.

Mercedes must consider the Sprint format for the Miami GP. For a team whose simulator and wind tunnel correlation has been questionable, bringing upgrades with limited practice could be a headache.

Moreover, last weekend’s set-up experiments are evidence that Mercedes’ form is often unpredictable.

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