Lewis Hamilton

For the first time in the past 18 months, Mercedes viewed themselves as potential victory contenders purely because of the newly introduced upgrades. The much-anticipated upgrade package was introduced in Monaco, and it attained the team double podium finish in Spain a couple of weeks later. As a result, the fans expected a much better performance in Austria.

The expectations came mainly because the Red Bull ring is more of a traditional race track. It would have suited the Mercedes’s current upgraded car massively. However, the end results shook the fans to the core. While Lewis Hamilton finished P8 due to a 10-second track limit violation penalty, George Russell could attain a maximum of P7. Let’s look at the possible reason for Silver Arrows’ underwhelming performance in Austria.


Mercedes’ Weak Rear End Contributed To The Team’s Poor Show In Austria

Mercedes W14 Planet F1

Red Bull Ring is a traditional track, yet unusual. The tacky turns and corners put the car’s rear ends to the test. Machinery with strong rear ends has always prevailed in Austria. That is where it all came down, falling for Mercedes. The team’s most prominent problem for this season has been their weak front, rear end. Despite upgrades, the Silver Arrows have failed to solve it. Having said that, the former constructor champions knew the need to enhance the rear-end performance for the race. Hence, the Brackley-based team opted for a temporary solution. They took downforce off their front wing for the race in order to limit their rear tyre wear.

However, it ended up doing more damage. Taking off downforce helped Mercedes’ W14 pick up the pace on new tyres. But as soon as the tyre wore out, the machinery became slow due to massive understeer. Due to this understeer problem, Lewis Hamilton was unable to turn the car quickly at corners, which resulted in numerous track limit violations. Also, Hamilton struggled to keep his car between the white lines on turn 10 as it exposed Mercedes’ problematic underfloor. Overall, Mercedes made a huge mistake by changing the setup of particularly Lewis’s car. It looked more like an experimental project which a top team like Silver Arrows should avoid at all costs.

Will Silverstone Be Any Different?

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes at Silverstone, United Kingdom

With a horrific Austrian Grand Prix, fans are left to wonder if Mercedes’ fate will change in the home race, British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Well, the fans could expect some progress, if not a win. First and foremost, the Silver Arrows are set to introduce another set of huge upgrades for the race weekend. While the details of the package have not been revealed, it is expected to enhance the car’s pace.

Another positive sign for Mercedes is the nature of the track of Silverstone. The British GP track will hide the home team’s underlying rear-end limitations because it tests the overall performance of the car. So if you have a particular area of concern in the machinery, other strong ends can cover for those during the entire course of the race. Hence, at home, Mercedes can expect themselves to stay in contention for a podium finish if not a victory.