Mercedes warn Ferrari as they develop 2024 upgrades

Mercedes have upgrades in the "pipeline" before the current season concludes, as they continue to target progress.

Mercedes’ head of race strategy Rosie Wait has revealed that any upgrades introduced to the W14 before the end of this season will “directly feed” into Mercedes’ car for 2024, although they are remaining focused on battling Ferrari for P2.

The Silver Arrows’ advantage over Ferrari in the fight for second in the Constructors’ Championship was reduced to just 20 points last weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished fifth and seventh.

Mercedes had been looking fairly comfortable in P2; however, Ferrari have been rejuvenated since the Italian Grand Prix.

Ferrari have suddenly unlocked a significant amount of performance from the SF-23, to the extent that Carlos Sainz has claimed pole position in two of the last three races.

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Mercedes do have a real fight on their hands for second place, something which could impact their preparations for 2024.

Team principal Toto Wolff had previously insisted that the Brackley-based team had switched their focus to 2024 and trying to catch Red Bull; however, more upgrades are in the pipeline for this season to avoid being overtaken by Ferrari.

Given that Mercedes finished behind Red Bull and Ferrari in 2022, claiming second spot would at least show that some progress has been made in the right direction, even if the Germans are yet to win this year.

A victory before the end of 2023 would mean a lot to Mercedes and perhaps give them some more belief ahead of next year, where they simply must perform better.

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In order to balance their fight with Ferrari whilst also thinking about next season, the Silver Arrows are introducing upgrades which are “specifically targeted” for areas of current weakness.

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“This decision is never as black and white as it seems,” said Wait on YouTube.

“Whilst we will have to use the winter to make more fundamental developments to W15, there are plenty of things we can do with the current car which will both make it faster and aid our learning and understanding to develop next year’s car.

“That’s what we’ve already been doing and will continue to do.

“So, the new parts we bring to the track do both; hopefully add performance and make the current car go faster, but they are all specifically targeted around areas where we need to further our understanding.

“The things we will learn from testing them this year will directly feed into the development of the W15.

“We also mustn’t lose sight of the fact that we are in a tight battle for P2 with Ferrari and that position in the championship is really important to all of us.

“So, we have upgrades in the pipeline and will continue to be bringing them to the car.”