Mercedes hope to put key W15 F1 car weakness ‘to bed’ with upgrades

Mercedes are "starting to get to grips with" their troubled W15 F1 car, James Allison says.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Mercedes technical director James Allison is hopeful the team can soon put the weaknesses of their W15 F1 car behind them.

After bringing updates to their 2024 challenger in Miami, Mercedes have introduced another batch of upgrades at this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola as F1 returned to Europe.

Mercedes’ W15 car has been afflicted by inconsistent performance and a fundamental high-speed weakness, but Allison believes the team are on the right path to putting the issue “to bed” over the coming races.

“I think we’re gradually getting there,” Allison said. "This track is probably one of the easier ones in that regard because the range of cornering speed is not that high.

“It’s a thing that all of us face and I think we’ve been a little slower than others to address it. But I think that you’ll see over the coming races that will be a thing that we increasingly put to bed.”

Mercedes had an encouraging start to the Imola weekend on Friday morning, with George Russell finishing within a couple of tenths of the pacesetting Ferrari belonging to Charles Leclerc.

Asked if Mercedes feel they are closer to achieving consistency with their W15 car after an up and down start to the season, Allison replied: “Well I’m not sure I’ve noticed too much of the up.

"But I think we, after a pretty uninspiring start, are starting to get to grips with it, a little bit. Today was a better day thus far. Let’s see if we can sustain that through the important parts of the weekend.”

Allison cautiously said Mercedes have seen improvements with their latest upgrades but stressed it is “a gradual thing”.

“It’s always tough when a car isn’t where you want it to be,” he added. "That is not an enjoyable situation.

“On the other hand, when you do start to get your head around it and start to move it forward, that then becomes extremely pleasurable. Hopefully we’ve got the worst of the grim feeling behind us and are now on the upward slope.” 

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