The German automotive manufacturer, Mercedes, has faced an uphill battle in its 2023 campaign. Much to the team’s dismay, its W14 car didn’t progress as expected, paling in comparison to the powerful, championship-winning Red Bull team. This lackluster performance persisted despite design modifications implemented from the Monaco Grand Prix.
Acknowledging their 2023 tumultuous performance, Mercedes announced a revamp of their concept for 2024. Their objective is simple – a dramatic shake-up in the car design that will propel them back into contention for victories.
Despite the looming change in course for their next-year car, Mercedes‘ investment in the current W14 model remains steadfast. Toto Wolff, the Team boss, revealed an impressive upgrade aiming towards the United States Grand Prix in the pipeline.
Mercedes concedes that new upgrades for W14 might not reflect in the next year’s model. However, they stress that there’s potential for performance learning and understanding that can greatly contribute to W15‘s conceptual design.
Mercedes‘ head of Strategy, Rosie Wait discussed at the team’s post-race review video why they continue to dedicate resources on the W14. She accentuated the benefits of continued work on the current car while formulating plans for major enhancements for the forthcoming W15 over the winter break.
She elucidated, “The concerted efforts on the current car will kick its performance up a notch while also aiding our knowledge of building next year’s car.”
Stressing on the dual role of new parts for W14, she remarked, “Not only should the new components enhance the current car’s performance, they focus on specific zones for better understanding.”
Wait pointed out the role of this year’s testing in honing the W15‘s development. She mentioned the team’s ongoing battle with Ferrari for the P2 spot and the significance of that championship position for everyone involved. She confirmed the continuation of upgrades for W14.
Mercedes‘ on-track engineering director, Andrew Shovlin, conferred about the team’s 2024 gameplan over the Japanese GP weekend. He asserted that Mercedes is not adhering to old ideas. Maintaining a flexible mindset is their way forward.
Drawing inference from the past couple of disappointing years, he stated, “We are a determined bunch, going the extra mile to return to the front lines.