The German car manufacturer has acknowledged that it made a mistake with its 2023 car by being overly cautious with its ride height goal. As a result, the team has been actively seeking solutions to improve its position on the grid.
And while more downforce would not go amiss, its technical director James Allison says that a particular effort has been thrown at trying to improve the handling and balance of the W14.
He claims that the current challenger’s through-corner characteristic is not ideal for giving its drivers the necessary confidence.
“I cannot reword.”
We are also aiming to enhance the driver’s sense of security when they first start turning the car. The current responsiveness feels excessive.
“And once they reach the highest point, they encounter the opposite issue. We desire the front to grip firmly, but it fails to do so. Initially, it is unstable when the wheel is turned, and then frustratingly unresponsive at the apex. We actually want it to be the opposite. That is the aspect we are currently focusing on.”
Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG
Photo by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images
Toto Wolff, the head of Mercedes, had confidence that unlocking a great deal of potential was possible by ensuring Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were provided with a more comfortable car.
He stated that it is necessary to provide the drivers with a car and platform that offer greater reliability in terms of balance and sensation.
“It’s not about absolute downforce but it’s for them to know that the car is going to be stable when they turn into the corner. That isn’t the case for now.
“We place great emphasis on this aspect, as it will enhance the drivers’ confidence and subsequently lead to improved performance.”
Mercedes is gradually directing a greater portion of its resources towards developing its 2024 vehicle. However, Allison believes that any enhancements discovered at the factory can still be implemented in the existing competitor.
“I cannot reword”
“After the summer break, the focus shifts to the upcoming year’s car, which presents the biggest challenge. However, this also presents opportunities for the W14.”
And while the ultimate target remains getting itself back in world championship contention, Allison says ending the year as runner-up to Red Bull is something it is eager to achieve.
“I cannot reword.”
We are slowly leaving them in the past, step by step. Every aspect is contributing to this progress, including strategy, engineering, reliability, manufacturing, and the consistent performance of the drivers who skillfully convert small chances into valuable points.
“While it may not fully meet our original objectives, attaining P2 remains significant for everyone involved, particularly as we approach the latter half of the season where the focus will shift towards the W15.”