Worrying reason for Mercedes F1 upgrades having “blunt” impact revealed

Mercedes' Andrew Shovlin has given some insight into the team's latest upgrade package - and the true impact of it.

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Race
George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Mercedes have revealed the true impact of their upgrades won’t be apparent until they fix the ongoing “handling issues” with W15.

Mercedes endured another lacklustre weekend at the Miami Grand Prix.

Both of their drivers failed to score points in the sprint, while on race day, they were comfortably the fourth-fastest team behind McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton did show some encouraging pace on his way to finish sixth, pressuring Sergio Perez in the latter stages.

Mercedes had introduced a significant upgrade for Miami, particularly around the floor area.

The true impact of it won’t be felt until they have cured their handling issues with further upgrades, according to Andrew Shovlin.

“We managed to pull forward about half of our upgrade kit to Miami and then the other half will arrive in Imola,” Shovlin said in Mercedes’ debrief on their YouTube channel.

“We’re working very hard on the future races to try and bring developments to them as well. Did it work as expected? Yes it all looks like it’s delivering the performance that we were hoping for from the floor.

“The issue is at the moment is everyone else is developing their cars. You saw McLaren with a big package and they looked to have moved forward. Also the handling issues that the drivers are having to battle with are making it hard to see all of that performance as a straight step forward.”

(L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Haas VF-24 battle for position. Formula 1
(L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15 and Nico Hulkenberg …

One common trait with the W15 is its inconsistency and how it can behave “quite differently” from session to session.

Shovlin has explained why the impact of the upgrades will continue to be “blunt”, for now at least.

“What we tend to find is the car from session to session can behave quite differently and until we get on top of that we’re always going to blunt the benefit we can get from these of updates,” he added.

“But after that last few races we’ve got a very clear idea of what we need to do the car to get it handling a bit more easily for the drivers, making sure it goes where they want it to go when they’re on those important qualifying laps. We’ve also got quite a good thread of updates that will be coming for the next three or four races.

“A lot of hard work going on but hopefully we’ll start to see the fruits of that soon.”

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