Mercedes wary about main F1 ‘weakness’ heading into Spanish GP

Toto Wolff says the Spanish Grand Prix will give a clear picture of the progress Mercedes have made.

Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says this weekend’s F1 Spanish Grand Prix will reveal how much progress the team have made in curing the W15’s main weakness.

The German manufacturer had been confident of closing the gap to Red Bull following a car design overhaul during the winter, but their 2024 challenger has struggled to perform consistently well across both high- and low-speed corners this year.

Mercedes have been encouraged by the early signs coming from a new front wing that was introduced in Monaco, believing it could be the key to addressing the weakness and turning around their fortunes this season.

After some unique track layouts in Monaco and Canada, F1 will return to a more conventional circuit at Barcelona, which features a mix of fast, medium and low speed corners.

“Barcelona will provide a good test of our progress,” Mercedes team principal Wolff said.

“It has a mix of fast, medium, and low speed corners, a long straight and plenty of elevation change. Tracks that contain this wide speed range have been a weakness of ours so far this year.

“This weekend will therefore provide another opportunity to evaluate our progress through our recent updates, and we hope to build on the positive momentum from Montreal.”

Mercedes’ competitiveness in Canada was a surprise, with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in the mix at the front all weekend as they secured the team’s best result of the season with third and fourth.

“We have continued to make incremental gains across the past few races,” Wolff added.

“It was encouraging therefore to take another positive step forward in Canada. To see that translate into our strongest team result of the season so far is a reward for everyone's hard work.

“The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a unique track, however. It has a narrow range of corner speeds and, with a newly re-laid surface, was something of an outlier compared to more traditional venues.

"We know our competitors will perform more strongly at upcoming races so we will need to continue to work hard to consistently get ourselves in the fight for podiums, and eventually race wins.” 

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