Mercedes did not have a great season in 2023 because of their car. They did not have a great season in the previous year either because of the same reason. Moreover, the German team is trying to understand the strengths and limitations of the car. In 2023, they have made a number of changes to the car. The form of the W14 car changed from no side pods to new side pods. They added a new front wing as well as front and floor suspensions. But the car has not been able to win a single race so far. The predecessor, W13, was much worse but at least won a race in Brazil last year. But the ever-evolving W14 car did not have that luck as of yet. There are only seven more races remaining this season, but Mercedes is already looking to focus on the next year’s car.
However, they would like to push the car to end with at least one victory this year. Already, the German team is under so much pressure to get the car’s development in the right direction. But now there is the added pressure of an extra race in the calendar. Las Vegas is the new track and the second Grand Prix in the USA this year. Many teams and drivers are not happy with the hectic schedule of the F1 racing calendar. Mercedes is among the teams who are afraid of the tire temperatures in Las Vegas. Moreover, teams have expressed doubts about how their Pirelli tires would work in the low temperatures of Las Vegas in November.
Haas And Alpha Tauri Agree with Mercedes Regarding The Effects Of The Cold Temperature On Their Pirelli Tires
In the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the races will begin at 10 p.m. in Nevada. As per reports, ambient temperature will dip down even below 10 degrees Celsius in mid-November. It could even go as low as five degrees. Regarding the tires at such low temperatures, the Mercedes trackside engineering director told Autosport that it will depend on how cold it gets. Moreover, Andrew Shovlin mentioned it would get difficult if the track gets down to single figures. That’s where teams go for winter testing. The drivers may find issues to switch on the tires when they do a run or even face issues with graining and stuff. Andrew Shovlin added that they would have to give time to warm up the tires a bit. Hence, the Mercedes engineering director feels it will be interesting to race and even qualify in those conditions.
It is essential to identify the risks with the new track and if the teams might need a new car spec to deal with the conditions. But if it gets too cold, it will be very unpredictable for the teams. Alpha Tauri and Haas also agreed with Mercedes and their comparisons of the tires in those difficult conditions. Moreover, Jonathan Eddolls of Alpha Tauri mentioned the biggest challenge will be the temperature. However, they have experience with winter tests in Barcelona. Hence, it won’t be completely new to Alpha Tauri, as per their chief race engineer. However, Ayao Komatsu, director of engineering of Haas, mentioned they have limited tools in terms of pre-event simulations compared to teams like Mercedes.
William’s Driver Alex Albon Makes An Essential Point On The Ever-increasing Race Calendar
On the other hand, Alex Albon of Williams pointed out the pressure of the ever-increasing race schedule. But Albon agrees that Las Vegas will be the biggest race of the current season. Recently, in an interview with Daily Express Sport, Albon noted that drivers don’t get to do all the sightseeing like the fans. It is very much like a hotel, circuit, and airport, that’s it.
But Alex Albon suggested that the governing body should try and ease the workload of the teams and the drivers. As Williams is almost half-American, the Las Vegas Grand Prix is pretty exciting. But Albon can’t emphasize enough the much need for a compromise on the hectic schedule of the racing calendar. He believes the schedule takes a toll on everybody involved.