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Mercedes reveals plans for "larger" F1 upgrade at British GP

Mercedes has revealed plans for a "larger" upgrade of its W14 at Formula 1’s British Grand Prix, with development progress having gathered pace in recent weeks.

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

The German manufacturer has been encouraged by the step forward that has been delivered by the major update it first introduced at the Monaco Grand Prix. 

A revised floor, new sidepods and different front suspension has delivered podium finishes for Lewis Hamilton in the last two races, and he battled Fernando Alonso hard in Canada last weekend on his way to finishing third. 

But while encouraged by the improvements, Mercedes knows more is required to take the fight to Red Bull, which is why it is ready to unleash a package of developments prior to the summer break. 

Team principal Toto Wolff said that next month's British GP is one of two races that the squad is aiming to deliver new parts to. 

“We're bringing a larger one to Silverstone,” he said. “Then we should have another one before shutdown.  

“It's just that the learnings have accelerated a lot since we changed some of the conceptual architecture. There should be decent steps coming in the next four races.” 

Now Mercedes has seen the desired improvement from its Monaco upgrade, Wolff said the rate at which the team uncovers gains has improved considerably.

“I think we are understanding better the simulations, and that correlates with what we are seeing on track,” he explained. 

“That's been a problem over the last one and a half years.

Jerome d'Ambrosio, Driver Development Director, Mercedes-AMG, Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Jerome d'Ambrosio, Driver Development Director, Mercedes-AMG, Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“We are seeing good performance gains that are coming in the tunnel. We are seeing a better understanding of what the car needs in order to go fast and what the set-ups need to look like.  

“So generally, the steps are getting bigger now. I think we're making good inroads.” 

Max Verstappen’s victory margin in Canada last weekend was smaller than it has been at other races this year, lifting hopes that the battle at the front could be closing up. 

But Wolff is still cautious for now about the potential of his squad – even though it felt that Montreal would not suit its car well. 

“For us, we didn't expect to perform here in Canada, because how the car behaves at the moment is more with high-speed corners,” he said. 

“It's encouraging to be not so far away. But one must not forget that Max is cruising in the front. 

“I don't think he's completely cruising, but he is still having an easier time in the front. I think there is margin, so there's quite a gap to catch up.” 

Asked if he felt that last weekend was the first time that Red Bull had appeared to be put under pressure at a normal track this year, Wolff replied: “No, no. I think that the margin is still too big to be really thinking that Max is under pressure.

“I don't know how much it [the advantage] was in this race, was it two-tenths or so? But it was still far off.”

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