Mercedes make surprising claim about Imola upgrade package

Mercedes are rolling out a substantial upgrade package at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this weekend in a bid to revive their performance.

Mercedes has been one of the biggest victims of the new era of regulations, seeing their era of dominance at the top of the sport ended by Red Bull.

After eight consecutive Constructors’ titles, Mercedes lost the crown last season to Red Bull, as the Silver Arrows found themselves substantially off the pace.

2023 hasn’t proved any better, as Mercedes only managed one podium in five races, taking P2 in Australia.

The inability to compete this season has seen Mercedes drop down to P3 behind Red Bull and Aston Martin.

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Ahead of the Grand Prix in Imola, Mercedes will unveil a raft of new parts on the W14, including changes to their sidepod design to try and fix their aerodynamic failures.

The Silver Arrows are believed to be taking a “different development direction,” with the Imola package the “first steps,” according to Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director.

“We are hoping to bring other updates later in the year.”

“We do hope that it is quicker, we hope that it’s better in terms of qualifying and race pace. 

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“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.”

Mercedes knew early on in 2023 that they would struggle to fight for championships this season after pre-season testing showed they weren’t on the same level as Red Bull.

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“If we go all the way back to the test and race in Bahrain, that was where we realised that we didn’t have a package that was going to allow us to fight for a world championship,” Shovlin added.

“If we continued on that same development direction, we wouldn’t end up in a position where we felt we could challenge Red Bull. 

“It was around that time that we took some decisions on how we develop the car, how the car works aerodynamically, and how we shape the characteristics of the car.”