The Brackley-based squad launched a ground improvement at the US Grand Prix that its technical director James Allison had previewed as being a ‘bellwether’ of its long-term potential.
However past the last word pace acquire, Mercedes has defined how a notable change in automotive traits – particularly in high-speed corners – was its largest takeaway from the weekend.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff mentioned the distinction in how the automotive was so sturdy within the opening Esses part at Austin, in comparison with its wrestle on the related Suzuka structure in Japan earlier this month, was one thing that was a specific increase.
“Once I look again on the Esses [in Japan], we have been gradual,” mentioned Wolff. “Right here, it was our greatest sector. So general we must be happy.”
Mercedes chief technical officer Mike Elliott confirmed the squad had taken a level of optimism about how the W14 had carried out.
“I believe, cautiously optimistic,” he mentioned when requested by Autosport concerning the verdict on the automotive upgrades.
Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT04
“We got here right here making an attempt some bits that we have been hoping we would see type of good indicators for subsequent yr. However clearly, there’s solely a lot you are able to do with this yr’s automotive, as [there are] larger adjustments we would wish to make for subsequent yr’s.
“However to return right here to the circuit the place, in all probability feeling a few of the excessive pace is perhaps arduous for us, to really go in addition to we did, I believe is an effective signal. Cautiously optimistic might be the fitting manner of it.”
Elliott defined that the upgraded ground was particularly focused at addressing a weak point the W14 had in excessive pace, however a key problem had been sorting it out with out it making the automotive’s steadiness worse.
“I believe we have seen, comparatively, we have been poor within the excessive pace over the latest races,” he mentioned.
“I believe we struggled a bit in Suzuka. After which I believe, actually, what the bundle was aimed toward doing is attempt to enhance that prime pace, however doing so in a manner the place we did not type of add any instability.”
Elliott felt that the Mercedes W14 was not missing in a single specific space, and the important thing to catching Crimson Bull in 2024 was in enhancing a number of features of the automotive.
“When you take a look at Crimson Bull, they’re nonetheless the quickest automotive,” he mentioned. “I believe the gaps are closing up, and that is what we wish to be doing.
“I believe what we have got to do is figure out how can we get that bit extra for subsequent yr. I believe there are some issues that we all know we wish to repair for subsequent yr’s automotive, however I am not going to elucidate what they’re for good motive.
“I believe simply typically we now have received to maintain discovering that further little bit of tempo. We have ourselves behind, and we’re enjoying catch up.
“I believe it is type of a bit of bit from a lot of completely different locations. However as at all times, many of the efficiency will come from aerodynamics.”