Mercedes will drop ‘conservative’ approach

Mercedes have identified improving their pitstops as something which must happen to compete for wins.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed that the Silver Arrows have put a lot of time into improving their pitstops during the off-season, with that being an area where they’ve typically been weaker than their rivals.

When it comes to pitstops, Red Bull and McLaren are comfortably clear of the field, with both teams more often than not completing staggering sub two-second stops.

Mercedes rarely produce pitstops below three seconds, costing them valuable time whenever Lewis Hamilton and George Russell enter the pits.

During their dominant period, the Brackley-based side didn’t have to worry about the speed of their pitstops because they were so much faster out on track; however, this is no longer the case.

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In order to take the fight to Red Bull and fight for victory, Mercedes must improve in all areas, with pitstops being one of them.

To become faster, the Silver Arrows have put more resources into wheel-locking mechanisms and axle materials, with Wolff promising that the outfit won’t be as “conservative” in 2024.

He admits that the team didn’t take any risks when it came to pitstops when the new regulations were introduced, something which has to change to be truly competitive at each Grand Prix.

“I think the regulations, how they were laid out a few years ago, we interpreted them in a very conservative way,” Wolff told The Telegraph.

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“And we’ve seen other teams doing it differently. So, watch this space. I think it’s going to be very different.”

If Mercedes are able to produce pitstops around the two-second mark on a regular basis in 2024, then this will work massively in their favour.

However, for it to be truly effective, they need to have a competitive car.

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Mercedes are very optimistic about their 2024 challenger – the W15 – which will be introduced on February 14.

An entirely new concept based on what they’ve learnt from their mistakes has been developed by the German manufacturer, who are desperate to return to winning ways this year.

The side didn’t claim a single victory in 2023, with Hamilton alone having now not won a race since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.