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Formula 1 Monaco GP

Mercedes sticks to F1 upgrade plan for Monaco GP

Mercedes remains committed to running its major update package at Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix, even though the tight street circuit is not the ideal venue to evaluate new components.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

The German manufacturer had originally intended to give the major revamp of its W14 a debut at this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

However, the extreme weather situation that prompted the calling off of the Imola event meant the opportunity for a first run on a more traditional track has now been lost.

Imola’s cancellation could have prompted a major rethink about Mercedes’ plans, because the next race in Monaco is far from perfect for bringing major new parts.

The street circuit poses a greater risk of accidents, which could wreck any new components early on, and the bumpy layout, low speed corners and fast-changing track surface make it extremely difficult to gather valuable data on aerodynamic performance.

But even though there would have been some logic for Mercedes to wait until the Spanish Grand Prix to introduce the upgrade, it has elected to push on with running the new parts as soon as possible.

It is understood that several factors have prompted it not to have a change of heart.

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, arrives on the grid

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, arrives on the grid

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The team remains convinced that the upgrades, which include new sidepods, revised floor and a different front suspension, will deliver a tangible step forward in performance, so there is no reason to believe that there would be a benefit to delaying its introduction.

Furthermore, the team is well aware that one of the factors that has held Lewis Hamilton and George Russell back this year is a lack of confidence in the car – especially under braking. So, with changes to the suspension in particular aimed at improving this, it also made sense to commit to the changes at a venue where any gains could pay off a lot.

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Another factor is that it would actually be more work now for Mercedes to revert to its older specification car than the new one. The revised W14 had been transported to Imola and is being sent direct to Monaco.

So, if the team had elected to go back to the original package, it would have been a tough logistical challenge to back out of its original plan and revamp everything once again for the Monte Carlo weekend.

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