Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes upgrades to close Red Bull gap by British GP

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes upgrades to close Red Bull gap by British GP

Lewis Hamilton has acknowledged that Mercedes’ development work on the W14 car has not yet yielded the desired results, but the team’s long-term plan projects a one-second gain on Red Bull’s pace. Following the season opener in Bahrain, Mercedes recognized their mistake in sticking with the ‘zero-pod’ concept and shifted their focus towards a new direction to regain their competitive edge.

The Monaco Grand Prix marked the debut of Mercedes’ revamped W14 challenger, featuring a redesigned sidepod in line with the dominant Red Bull team’s concept, as well as other changes such as a new floor. However, Monaco was not an ideal venue to assess the effectiveness of these upgrades, and the expected debut at Imola was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.

The upcoming Spanish Grand Prix, held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, will provide a better opportunity to gauge Mercedes’ progress. Known for its challenging layout, the circuit has long been favored for testing purposes, offering a comprehensive evaluation of a car’s performance.

Hamilton emphasized that the current upgrades are only the first stage of Mercedes’ development plan. According to the data, the team expects to gain a full second on Red Bull’s current race pace by the final stage of their development. It should be noted that Red Bull is unlikely to remain static in their own development efforts, even with reduced wind tunnel time. However, Mercedes’ projected improvement could potentially eliminate or significantly reduce the performance advantage currently enjoyed by their former title rivals.

As the Formula 1 season progresses, all eyes will be on Mercedes to see if their development work pays off and if they can close the gap to Red Bull. The Spanish Grand Prix will serve as a crucial milestone in assessing the team’s progress and determining whether they are on track to achieve their long-term goal of regaining their position at the front of the grid.