Lewis Hamilton handed boost for US Grand Prix as Mercedes confirm aero upgrade

Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are vying to take Mercedes' first win of the season.

Mercedes are set to bring their final upgrade of the season to the United States Grand Prix next weekend.

Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were given an inherently poor car at the start of this season, and though the idea of running virtually no sidepods was an initially promising one, it has, if anything, caused them more problems.

However, they have been adamant over the course of 2022 that they do not want to undo all of their development under the current technical regulations by switching to a new concept.

They are determined to use the groundwork they have laid to develop the chassis they currently have, and take as many learnings as they can into next year.

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2023 will certainly see plenty of revisions made in what the German side will hope is a much more fruitful W14 car, but while their concept next season is set to change, they are not quite done with the W13 just yet.

When the team arrive in Austin, the car will have several fresh quirks to it, which are ultimately aimed at bringing at least one win back to Brackley before the end of the year.

“It’s the last step of our aerodynamic development,” said trackside engineer, Andrew Shovlin, in a Mercedes YouTube video.

“Hopefully it will bring some more performance, but more importantly, with every step we take we learn more and more and we can carry that into next year.

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“That’s one part, but we’ve also made some parts lighter, so hopefully we’ll get closer to the minimum weight limit that way.

“It’s very difficult to predict what this update will do for our performance.”

Max Verstappen wrapped up his second drivers’ title at the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend with Red Bull, and he looks set to break the record held jointly by former Red Bull driver, Sebastian Vettel, and former Ferrari driver, Michael Schumacher.

Both of the previous champions won 13 races in their final championship-winning campaigns in 2004 and 2013 respectively, and the Dutchman has four races to take another two wins and claim the record.

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He and Sergio Perez are inches away from winning the Constructors’ Championship though, so there is little point in developing the RB18 any further.

“All focus is now fully on 2023. There are still some very minimal things to come, but there will be no major updates between now and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” said Rob Marshall, Red Bull’s chief technical officer, on the Beyond the Grid Podcast.

With 67 points between them, Mercedes may yet beat Ferrari to second in the championship, while the Scuderia must beat Red Bull by 18 points to stay in the hunt for the title.