Lewis Hamilton warned about ‘big’ Mercedes upgrade

Mercedes are expected to ditch their 'zero-sidepods' as part of their new concept for Imola.

Ex-IndyCar driver Danica Patrick has questioned what Mercedes will do if their upcoming new concept fails, with the Silver Arrows set to introduce some big upgrades to the W14 at the upcoming Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Mercedes will be hoping that their disappointing start to the 2023 Formula 1 season comes to an end at the next race in Imola, with the Germans having put so much expectation onto their new concept.

The new concept to the W14 is expected to result in a considerably different looking car, including, new sidepods.

Mercedes have spoken so much about how excited they are for Imola, raising the question over what will happen should the new concept not perform as expected.

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Patrick believes the Brackley-based team will be in for a challenging triple-header should the new concept not “live up” to the team’s expectations; however, she did note that if the concept improves their performance then it will “be a big deal”.

“If this does really work and, at Imola, they get going better than will look like an entirely different season moving forwards,” Patrick said on Sky Sports F1.

“The test will be if they don’t see what they want to see.

“They have a high expectation that it doesn’t live up to it, but they don’t make enough progress, then the test will be going into a triple-header. 

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“You’ve got to keep cool, stay positive, know there is more racing to be done.

“If the upgrade really does work, it will be a big deal for them.”

2009 World Champion Jenson Button added on Patrick’s comments, with the ex-McLaren driver having explained that Imola is a “big weekend” for Mercedes’ season.

“They have, because they’ve told us that they’ve got a big upgrade coming at Imola.

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“It’s a big weekend for them. We are all excited by it, we need people jumping up the grid to fight the front guys.

“Hopefully it will put them in a place where they can fight Aston Martin. They won’t fight the Red Bull yet.

“For Fernando Alonso he wants the competition, he loves the competition with Lewis.”