Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed the rear of the W14 is still somewhat “nasty” for his drivers, even after their upgrades in Monaco.
Mercedes had planned to bring their first significant upgrade package of the season to Imola, but the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was cancelled for flooding in the region, leaving the team with the choice of where to introduce their planned improvements.
They opted to put them onto the car in Monaco, despite the circuit being a notoriously tough gauge on which to assess new parts, though multiple teams opted to bring upgrades to Monte Carlo over the weekend.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished fourth and fifth respectively on Sunday, with Russell left “kicking himself” at missing out on a podium place, and Hamilton speaking positively overall about the impact the upgrades have had on the W14 so far.
But in spite of the improvements that have been made to the car, the Mercedes team boss is wary of one area in which the car is still not quite right for the drivers.
“The car felt together, which is important, but it’s still a bit nasty on the rear – so that’s something which we need to dial out of the car for the next few races,” Wolff told reporters in Monaco, as per Motorsport.com.
“But we have a new baseline and that’s important to say: ‘Okay, this is what we have now.’ We’ve taken questions off the table where we weren’t sure of, be it the front suspension or the extravaganza of our bodywork. So, let’s work from here.
“We’re good at grinding away and the work that was done in the factories to bring that update here to Monaco from our team, it was really a big effort.”
The Spanish Grand Prix will offer Mercedes and others a much better opportunity to assess how their upgrades work in the real world, with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya being a regular testing circuit in Formula 1 and a more conventional layout on which to gather data.
That will be the team’s priority over the weekend as they look into how their new parts have worked in relation to simulations at their factory, but the team principal knows it will take more than one race to establish how high their new performance level is.
“I think Barcelona is not enough,” Wolff said.
“I think we need to collect data. That’s why we put it also here in Monaco, and to collect further analysis which we will do in Barcelona. The next one, Montreal, is a little bit of an outlier again.
“But over the next races hopefully we can really increase the performance of the car. But it’s not going to suddenly be right there.
“That’s why I’m actually pleased with the time gap that we had in Monaco. It was always a mediocre track for us, so that’s okay.”
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