Mercedes hopeful US GP upgrade will allow them to fight Ferrari and Red Bull

Mercedes have claimed victory at the Circuit of the Americas on four occasions.

Following on from a challenging double-header in Asia, Mercedes go into this weekend’s United States Grand Prix ready to install their “final” aero upgrade of the season, which could be the missing link for the Silver Arrows.

2022 has been a year that the Germans will be desperate to see the back of; however, they still have four races to claim not only their first victory of the year but also to catch Ferrari for second in the Constructors’ Championship.

The races in Singapore and Japan saw the Brackley-based team fall 67 points behind the Italians, after a run of results which saw the gap close considerably.

Mercedes have it all to do; however, a final aerodynamic upgrade could be what Lewis Hamilton and George Russell need to be right in the mix with the two leading teams.

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Perhaps more crucially, the new upgrades will also see the weight of the heavy W13 reduced considerably.

The Germans are believed to have had one of the heaviest cars this season, meaning a lighter chassis could dramatically improve their performance, especially against the ultra-light Ferrari.

Mercedes’ head of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin is hoping the upgrades will give the team “more performance”, but recognises the overall improvement is “difficult” to predict.

“It’s our final step of aero development and that will hopefully give us a bit more performance,” said Shovlin.

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“But importantly, with every step, we are learning more and more and that learning we can carry into next year.

“So that’s part of it, also there are a few bits where we have taken some weight out of components that will hopefully get the car closer to the weight limit.

“It’s very difficult for us to predict where we are going to be.”

It has been a year full of headaches for Mercedes, who have appeared incredibly strong at some races and then worryingly weak at others, with the double-header being no different.

Hamilton came within a tenth of pole at Singapore but was then almost a second off the pole time at Japan.

On the whole, the team’s race pace hasn’t been an issue, with it being qualifying that’s been weirdly inconsistent.

Shovlin wants the Germans to hopefully “make a step” in the final rounds of the season, with the team to give it their “best shot”.

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“In Singapore, Lewis was awfully close to pole position, yet in Suzuka, both cars had a big gap to the front,” added Shovlin.

“Now, our race pace has been reasonably strong, so, if we can make a step hopefully, we can get into the fight with the Ferraris and the Red Bulls but qualifying for us is the really difficult one to predict at the moment.

“But as I said a lot of it is about learning and we are certainly going to give it our best shot in the final four races.”