Mercedes taking close look at McLaren upgrade after ‘unusual’ gains

Mercedes are taking a close look at McLaren’s latest upgrade package after it transformed the team’s performance at the F1 British Grand Prix. 
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes

Lando Norris claimed a brilliant second place behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after thwarting a late attack from Lewis Hamilton, who labelled the updated MCL60 as a “rocketship”, while teammate Oscar Piastri was able to keep the other Mercedes of George Russell at bay to seal fourth.  

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McLaren enjoyed a notable step forward with their high-speed performance at Silverstone as they had their best qualifying and race result of the 2023 season so far. 

And McLaren’s impressive progress has caught the eye of Mercedes technical director James Allison, who admitted his team is in the process of analysing photos of their rival’s upgrade. 

"We keep an eye on all the teams as they upgrade," Allison said in Mercedes’ post-British Grand Prix debrief. “We take lots of photos and we try and figure out what changes from race to race. 

"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.

"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.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Allison is hopeful Mercedes can end up at the front of a fluctuating chasing pack behind Red Bull - which includes the likes of Ferrari, Aston Martin and McLaren - as the development race hots up. 

"For us yes, you will see the upgrades coming for a little while longer. I suspect for the others too,” he explained. 

"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. Hopefully we will have our noses in front and be able to have a strong second half of the season.” 

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