Ex-Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer doesn’t understand why Mercedes are introducing their new concept at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, a circuit where the Briton believes “you’re not gonna learn” much.
The Circuit de Monaco is certainly unique, with the legendary street track being unbelievably narrow and bumpy, typically resulting in a precession.
Mercedes were set to introduce their new concept last weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix prior to it being cancelled, with the decision having since been made to instead introduce it this weekend in Monaco.
This is certainly a huge risk given how challenging the circuit is, with spare parts perhaps being a concern should either Lewis Hamilton or George Russell crash.
Palmer believes Mercedes should’ve held on until the Spanish Grand Prix next weekend to introduce their upgrades, with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya having been the previous host of pre-season testing.
It’s also a much more traditional circuit, where the Silver Arrows will be able to gain substantial data.
Little useful data will likely be gathered by Mercedes in Monaco, whereas Barcelona will be the real indicator for the team as to whether their new concept is a step in the right direction.
Palmer discussed Mercedes’ choice to introduce the new concept in Monaco whilst discussing what the teams will be telling their drivers to do this weekend, with a common message being to avoid the famous barriers.
“Don’t crash, but it’s so easy to do,” Palmer told F1’s official YouTube channel.
“I’ve been in a situation with Lotus before they became Renault, where the parts were so few and far between.
“It was very much, ‘if you crash, we might not be racing but we certainly won’t be racing the new part. That’s the thing about Monaco, it’s not the place to bring upgrades. The track is so different to anything else.
“There’ll all be running the car in a completely different configuration because it’s high downforce anyway.
“So far, we’ve only had low or medium downforce circuits, then you’re adding new components in and there’s the highest chance to crash of anywhere on the calendar and then you might just destroy them before you get the chance to race them.
“Still downforce is king, so if you can add downforce to the car it should help you, but there’s risk element and you’re not gonna learn as much around Monaco as you would on a conventional circuit.”
Palmer added: “That’s the thing, you’ve got Barcelona one week after, which is the traditional test track where you can really evaluate new upgrades.
“You don’t want to be destroying them in Monaco and running out and not being able to bring what you want to Barcelona- where you can really get a read on it.
“They’re gonna have to trust the drivers at Mercedes if they’re gonna bring it. They’ve got a decent pairing to do that, but I think it looks to me a little bit like a desperate measure.”