Mercedes ready to copy McLaren’s ‘unusual’ upgrades

Mercedes were behind McLaren in the pecking order last weekend at the 2023 British GP.

Following last weekend’s British Grand Prix, Mercedes technical director James Allison has revealed that the Silver Arrows will be taking a look into McLaren’s recent upgrades, which saw them possess remarkable pace.

McLaren were remarkably second in the pecking order at the Silverstone International Circuit, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri having qualified second and third.

They went on to finish the race second and fourth respectively, whilst Lewis Hamilton and George Russell claimed third and fifth.

The Woking-based team were seriously impressive, and even managed to defend from Mercedes late on despite running the Hard compound.

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McLaren have made huge strides since their upgrades at the Austrian Grand Prix, with their improvement in lap time in Spielberg and Silverstone having been extraordinary.

As a result, Mercedes are set to investigate what made McLaren “quite strong” so suddenly.

“We keep an eye on all the teams as they upgrade,” Allison said in a British GP debrief.

“We note when something new or unusual comes along. The interesting and unusual thing about the McLaren upgrade is that its lap time effect is quite strong. It’s unusual to have a step of that size of relative competitiveness in the middle of a season and chapeau to them.

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“They’ve done a good piece of work there, but that also makes it interesting for us because we have the before and after shots and we know the lap time effect was big.

“We know that whatever changed has made a meaningful difference to their lap time. It’s quite useful for us to know what that was and see whether it can play into our own thoughts of developing our own car.”

Whilst Mercedes are going to take a look into their customer team’s improvements, the Germans are also set to introduce their own upgrades over the coming races.

Mercedes have still got some developments in the pipeline before they switch their attention to 2024, something which’ll happen very soon.

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“For us yes, you will see the upgrades coming for a little while longer. I suspect for the others too,” Allison added.

“What you will get in this next sequence of races is a little bit of yo-yoing for position in a very closely packed bunch as upgrades make the difference for one team for a while, until someone else will come out of sequence with another upgrade a race or two later to even things back out.

“Where it will all settle down for the final quarter to one third of a season, we will see.”