The introduction of the W14 car has brought unexpected challenges for Mercedes this season. The car has lacked significant race-level pace. While the team has tried to salvage the situation through multiple upgrades, nothing has worked significantly in the favor of the Silver Arrows. They still remain over 20 seconds behind the Red Bulls.
At the recently concluded Belgian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton finished P4, whereas his teammate, George Russell, ended up at P6. With that, the F1 season headed into the summer break. However, Mercedes has no time to relax as they have a lot of work to do behind the factory. Amid this, a former team manager has pointed out a major aspect where the team has produced mixed results.
Peter Windsor Believes Mercedes May Not Have All The Answers As They Head Into Summer Break
The F1 season headed into the summer break this week, and Mercedes have a mega task at their helm. The W14 is wrecked and needs a major upgrade. But with the cost penalty looming over their shoulders, the Silver Arrows’ hands are tied. Amid this, Former Williams team manager Peter Windsor has raised reasonable doubt over the W14’s inconsistent performance. Through his Youtube channel, Windsor claimed that Mercedes may not have all the answers they are looking for in terms of what they have to do with the car. The former manager further pointed out that the car’s performance on the full fuel-loaded tank remains a big question mark.
Peter meant to point out that Mercedes is generating more pace in race starts on Sunday rather than one lap in qualifying. That is because the W14 ‘s performance on a fully loaded fuel tank has been dubious. During races, F1 cars start with a full tank of fuel, and as they consume fuel, their weight decreases, affecting various aspects of their performance. However, during races at Spa and Hungary, things were completely opposite. This performance discrepancy has been most noticeable in races where Mercedes has faced competition from other teams with a strong long-run pace. In these scenarios, the W14’s inability to maintain its speed and consistency as the race progresses has proven to be a disadvantage. Having said that, the Silver Arrows will look to address this situation as the break progresses.
Silver Arrows Upgrades At Spa Backfires Massively
At the recently concluded Belgian Grand Prix, Mercedes introduced a fresh upgrade package. They changed the size of the side pods and also tweaked the floor. However, it worked against them as the floor led to constant bouncing. Lewis Hamilton, the team’s ace driver, was the first one to complain. He said that the W14 bounced on every straight and every corner. It made him uncomfortable and led to intense frustration.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal, addressed the situation and said that they are awaiting more data. While he thinks the tweaked floor could have resulted in bouncing, nothing is certain until they retrieve complete data. Having said that, Wolff believes that W14’s development is headed in the right direction. The team’s ability to overcome this challenge could play a pivotal part in determining the outcome of the season.