Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are set to receive new upgrades this weekend as Mercedes desperately search for pace. The Silver Arrows has battled porpoising issues all season and appear to lack the outright performance of previous seasons.
The German manufacturers are unable to keep up with Ferrari and Red Bull and have been stuck in mostly midfield fights. However, the British pair’s luck could soon change with new updates set to feature from Miami and the Spanish Grand Prix in a fortnight.
Although Wolff was more optimistic about the Barcelona upgrades, he still warned the team would be testing something different this weekend. Wolff said: “We’ll try something in Miami and then again in Barcelona.
“We had much less bouncing with our presentation model in the winter than the second specification that we then took to Bahrain. The data comparison between the two cars should bring us a step further.”
Andrew Shovlin, trackside engineering director at Mercedes, also revealed the team were looking at making changes for Miami. He warned there were ‘encouraging signs’ and was optimistic the team could male ‘progress’ on its problems sooner rather than later.
He said: “Being realistic we think this will be something we approach in steps rather than one big moment where the whole thing vanishes. But we are seeing encouraging signs … we are hoping to bring parts to the car soon, maybe even Miami where we can hopefully see progress on this issue.”
Mercedes brought some minor upgrades to Imola but Hamilton admitted these were not ‘ground-breaking’ but stressed the team were still working hard to try and find a solution.
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He said: “Ultimately it’s fundamentally still the same car. I know everybody in the factory has been working hard over Easter to try to bring even the smallest bits of improvement to the car. We don’t have anything that’s ground-breaking that’s going to change our result but I hope that we do move slightly forward.”
Hamilton has struggled more than Russell this season in a blow to the Briton’s hopes of securing an eighth world title. He could only manage 13th at Imola last time out and finished 10th in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix earlier this season.
The two poor results leave Hamilton seventh in the standings and more than 50 points behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Team-mate Russell has secured four successive top-five finishes this season and lies just 37 points behind the Monegasque.
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