It’s well established by now that the Mercedes W14 is wrecked. It lacks race-level pace and performance, and because of this, the drivers have suffered immensely to produce results. Last weekend in Hungary, Lewis Hamilton finished P4 despite starting the race on pole. On the other hand, George Russell had a better race as he climbed all the way from P15 to P6.
Meanwhile, the Formula One caravan shifted to Belgium for the last race weekend before the short summer break. It would be a sprint weekend with a revised format. The weekend is going to be challenging due to wet weather conditions and tacky track conditions. As a result, Mercedes has introduced a track-specific upgrade package to ensure better results during the main race.
Mercedes Redesigns W14’s Sidepods Ahead Of Spa Weekend
Mercedes ditched their highly problematic zero pod concept at the Monaco Grand Prix. Moreover, till now, the team’s upgrade packages have been majorly focused on the side pods. Ahead of the Belgium Grand Prix, the Silver Arrows has unveiled a significant upgrade to their W14 car, with a focus on revamping the side pods. The leaked pictures from the team’s garage suggest that the engineers have revised the shape and size of the sidepod inlet. It looks more like a cylindrical shape. It will boost the engine cooling process. Moreover, the rear portion of the side pods also looks different. It has a deeper curvature on the flank, which will manage the airflow.
Further, since side pods and floor correlate in generating performance from the car, the floor has also been redesigned. The edge of the floor has been tweaked. Also, Mercedes had made some changes to the wing. The team has added a Gurney flap to reduce drag and elevate straight-line speed. This modification is more track specific. Having said that, the conditions are likely to be extremely wet over the weekend in Spa. Hence, things might go according to plan for Silver Arrows. Nevertheless, the changes look significant and might enhance the W14’s performance for the rest of the season. But for this race, the Mercedes fans should keep their expectations a little lower as wet conditions are unlikely to work in favor of the Brackley-based team.
Silver Arrows Headed The Red Bull Way To Defeat Competition
Mercedes is left with no choice but to follow in the footsteps of its arch rivals, Red Bull, in order to defeat the latter’s top driver, Max Verstappen. Firstly, the Silver Arrows nearly copied Red Bull’s sidepod concept as they ditched their very own zero pod concept. On top of that, the Brackley-based team is supposedly working on recreating their floor by taking inspiration from the drink-based team.
Mercedes’ top driver, Lewis Hamilton, had earlier urged the team to follow Red Bull’s development footsteps. He believes it’s the only way to defeat the drink-based team in the future. The British driver specifically wants the team to have a strong rear as Red Bull which helps in gaining performance on turns. However, the Silver Arrows have their own thought process, which currently does not align with Hamilton’s assessment. Overall, the upcoming race weekend is going to be extremely challenging for the Brackley-based team.