Monaco Upgrade: Mercedes Dares, Ferrari Delays
Mercedes F1 Team Takes Charge: Upgrade Unfazed by Grand Prix Cancellation, Eyes Monaco as Next Battleground.
Despite the unexpected cancellation of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix due to severe flooding at the Imola circuit in Italy, Mercedes is proceeding with its planned significant upgrades to the W14.
The Grand Prix cancellation has led many of the other nine teams in Formula 1 to reconsider their timelines, potentially delaying updates due to the idiosyncrasies of the forthcoming Monaco Grand Prix, the slowest in the season, but Mercedes has chosen a different path.
Mercedes had planned to introduce a comprehensive package of improvements to their W14 during the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, following initial performance outcomes that fell short of expectations.
Now that Imola is off the table, the next stop is Monaco, with its peculiar demands for low-speed, high-downforce handling, coupled with an increased potential for vehicle damage. This has triggered several teams, including Ferrari, to contemplate postponing their planned enhancements.
Ferrari, for example, is expected to push the launch of their revised suspension for the SF-23 until the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
Nonetheless, Mercedes is resolute in its decision to debut the Imola upgrades in Monaco. This commitment was verified by a team representative who disclosed to F1Lead that the modifications to accommodate the new upgrades on the W14s are already complete.
Andrew Shovlin, the Engineering Director, described these changes as the “first step” towards rectifying the W14’s shortcomings in handling and aerodynamics. He expressed optimism that these upgrades would boost both qualifying and race pace, saying in a team-produced video, “We hope it’s quicker, we hope it’s better.”
Shovlin also revealed a strategic shift, mentioning that the team is venturing in a new development direction they believe will give them a stronger chance of claiming victories and world championships in the long run.
Despite the flooding in Imola, there are no apprehensions about the teams’ preparedness for the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix.
While the Imola circuit remains off-limits due to high water levels, essential staff members have been allowed on site to start the process of packing and transporting equipment. All vehicles and equipment are slated to arrive in Monte Carlo on time, despite the disruptions.
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