Looks like Lewis Hamilton is finally able to get a grip on the new, entirely revamped Mercedes W14. After today’s first practice session at Monaco Grand Prix, it is clear that the new design is not adversely affecting the pace, if not supporting them. However, significant changes were visible on the W14, making fans assume what new Mercedes brought in the mid of the Formula One season.
Just after the pre-season testing this year, Mercedes was more than sure that they were still behind many rival teams. After the solitary successful run at Brazil GP last year, the team had once again played with the design concept, which did not favor them at all. As a result, the Silver Arrows started working afresh to revamp the W14 concept and bring the brand-new car worthy of fighting the frontrunners. And it looks like they did it.
Lewis Hamilton Showing Promising Results With New W14 Car
Ever since Mercedes announced that they will bring a heavily upgraded W14 car to the Imola GP, fans were expecting some good pace. However, Team Principal Toto Wolff told them to hold the horses and not to expect extraordinary results from the impending upgrades. Moreover, after the cancellation of Emilia Romagna GP because of the flooding, the expectations went further down. This is because Monaco is no good circuit to test the upgrades as it is a street-style circuit. However, Team Silver Arrows were still determined to bring the impending updates to Monaco itself to check its caliber. And after today’s first free practice session, Mercedes is sure that they have not found any major problems with the revamped car so far.
FP1, complete. ✅ Plenty to analyse ahead of the next session. pic.twitter.com/mpFIHGxMkU— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) May 26, 2023
Despite Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz leading the first session, Lewis Hamilton was competitive throughout the hour-long FP1. The Mercedes ace secured third position with his best lap time of 1:14.035 and led the timesheet ahead of both the Red Bull drivers. Although other Silver Arrows’ driver, George Russell, did not get the same results out of the W14, as he was in the fifteenth position, 1.7 seconds off the pace.
Team Mercedes Happy With Initial Results
After the end of FP1, Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin acknowledged that the brand new W14 made a promising start today. While talking to Sky Sport’s Analyst Ted Kravitz, Shovlin asserted that they were making some comparisons on setup across the car, and they’ve got a good direction there. Team Mercedes is also determined to keep the momentum going for FP2, Qualifying, as well as the primary race.
Evidently, Lewis Hamilton was happy and confident enough to lead the race after some encouraging results, while George Russell struggled with the tires and the grip. But this weekend, the goal of the German manufacturers is to set the right compromise for the unique Monaco circuit and to instill confidence in both drivers following the opposing setups of Hamilton and Russell.
“Monaco is about confidence for the driver. Lewis had that this morning. But George didn’t. So, really just working on the tweaks that’ll bring that,” said the Mercedes engineer Andrew Shovlin.