The Miami Grand Prix ended on a bittersweet note for the Mercedes-AMG-Petronas F1 Team. After a horror show in qualifying wherein their lead driver, Lewis Hamilton, crashed out of Q2, the team made a significant comeback on Sunday during the main race. Hamilton finished P6, whereas his teammate, George Russell, fell short of a podium finish as he came home P4. Overall, it was an average weekend for the Brackley-based team, who now look forward to the Imola GP.
Mercedes is aiming to unlock key answers to what areas it got wrong with its current Formula 1 car, W14, with an upgrade package that it will introduce at Imola. The team has admitted that the W14 is difficult to drive and is not delivering the expected performance, leading to Red Bull and Max Verstappen dominating the season far. However, the team principal has urged the supporters to keep their feet grounded.
Toto Wolff Looking For Desperate Answers As Mercedes Prepare To Introduce Upgrades To W14
Mercedes, who once ruled the tracks of Formula One, now struggles to close the gap to the flying Red Bulls at the front of the grid. The gap between the RB19 and W14, as recorded in Miami, is 30 odd seconds. To curb the gap, the Silver Arrows are all set to introduce a massive upgrade in the upcoming Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The upgrade will involve significant changes to the sidepod, floor, and front suspension. However, the team principal, Toto Wolff, feels the upgrade is intended to understand the underlying issue with the machinery.
Toto said the team is managing its expectations. The W14 is not going to magically fight the Red Bulls with one upgrade package. That’s not how things pan out in Formula One. However, the upgrades will surely help the team gain a better understanding of what’s wrong with the car and what they can do from here on to make it better. Hopefully, the Silver Arrows can get some troubling variables, such as balance issues, off the table. That could count as a small victory for now. Regardless, the team has work to do to catch up to Red Bull, but it is confident that it can turn things around. The Imola circuit will be a key test for the team, and it will be interesting to see how the upgrades perform on the track.
Toto Wolff Feels The Cost Cap Restrictions Are Hurting The Team Really Bad
The FIA introduced the cost cap regulation in 2021, where they set a limit to how much each team can spend per season overall. The idea behind it was to bring equality between the teams with high and low resources. Moreover, the team that has suffered the most from his regulation is Mercedes. Their machinery has witnessed a significant drop in pace ever since the regulation came into effect.
Even this season, as the W14 struggled on the track, the Silver Arrows team principal feels the cost cap regulation is the main reason that’s holding the team back. Mercedes wants to introduce a larger package of upgrades, but that would result in a breach of the cost cap rule. Hence, they have to stay mindful of what changes they want to enforce and eliminate the unnecessary things which cost them a large chunk of money.