Mercedes W14 Sidepods

Arnab Bose

Hidden Details Of Mercedes W14 Upgrades Out! Will The Improvements Work At Spanish GP?

Mercedes has been a powerhouse of F1 motorsport for a long time now. Their golden period started when F1 legend Niki Lauda brought Toto Wolff as Team Principal and Lewis Hamilton as their ace driver. Both Wolff and Hamilton joined in 2013. As people like to call it, the rest was history.

Lewis Hamilton went on to be the most decorated racer, and Toto Wolff became the most successful team principal in Formula One. However, as every good thing has an end point, the turbo-hybrid era that saw the rise of Mercedes as a powerhouse ended. With that end of an era, Mercedes lost its grip on the title and have suffered ever since. But the main source of their suffering has been the car’s concept.


Mercedes W14 Old Vs. New

Mercedes W14 Upgrades
Mercedes W14 Upgrades Source: Yahoo Movies UK

In the cost cap era, Mercedes’ arch-rivals Red Bull has done remarkable work with their car. But the former stuck with the old design of zero side pod, and it just did not work. Last year the W13 car was a disaster as the drivers suffered a lot due to a lot of bouncing problems. However, in the current season, Mercedes suffered due to the car’s rear downforce, cockpit position, and balance issues. Apparently, it was not a good idea to use the same zero-side pod concept in the W14 car as well.

However, the new revamped Mercedes W14 with new side pods on the left and right looks like a better option than the one in the first six races of this season. Along with the side pods, the front suspension has caught the eyes as well. Moreover, the Mercedes engineers have raised the arm 10 centimeters or so. Unlike the components in the previous W14 version, which was below that line. This rise of the arm’s position will help in the airflow down the side pods. However, one thing has not changed, and it is the SIS fairing. It provides a safety feature that can mount on the chassis within a certain dimensional window. There is a panel in the car that helps in cooling whenever required. 

Lewis Hamilton Is Optimistic With New Upgrades

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Source: Sky News

Evidently, from the opening race in Bahrain, it was clear that W14 was not ready to challenge the superior RB19. That Red Bull car is dominating the grid at present like a beast. Since then, the Mercedes F1 team has been preparing and waiting for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. For testing new upgrades to W14. But the cancellation of Imola GP led the team to try to implement modifications in the next Grand Prix in Monaco.

It was not an ideal race to try new upgrades, but they did because of the fear of losing more time. However, Mercedes still could not get into the top three, and their second podium finish this season. Lewis Hamilton ended with fourth place, and George Russell in fifth. But Hamilton had a positive reaction saying the car feels good. And the team needs to build on these improvements in the following races. The seven-time champion feels Barcelona would be a perfect place to check the progress.