Mercedes to bring ‘new bits’ to Miami but W15 still on a 'knife-edge'


Toto Wolff says Mercedes will bring several updates to its W15 at next week’s Miami GP as it continues to try and get a grip on a silver arrow that remains a challenging proposition for its drivers.

Frustration continues to linger at Mercedes after another disappointing weekend in China.

Despite an early promise delivered by Lewis Hamilton’s podium finish in Saturday’s Sprint event in Shanghai, the main Grand Prix left the team searching for answers once again.

Hamilton, who started his race from a lowly P18 following a catastrophic qualifying session, managed to finish ninth while his teammate George Russell improved on his P8 spot on the grid to cross the checkered flag sixth.

However, after significant setup changes were implemented after Saturday’s Sprint race, the Brackley squad was hoping for a better result.

"I think the car is difficult car to set up and difficult to drive, and that is why you have these oscillations in performances in my opinion,” commented the Austrian.

"I think where the car is, and where Lewis's car was, was certainly far away from the optimum and it is driving on a knife-edge.

"So, what is it? This is where we are. For Miami we are bringing new bits, and it will be interesting to see how they are going to perform on the car."

Addressing the fact that last weekend’s setup changes proved ineffective, Russell suggested that Mercedes might be chasing ghosts and might need to acknowledge the current limitations of its W15 car.

"We've had two different set-ups this weekend, both of which produced very similar lap times and performance," said Russell.

"So, the work needs to be back at the factory and ultimately in F1, the more downforce you have, the faster you'll go. The set-up is the cherry on the cake.

"I think there is no silver bullet. We just need to keep on adding performance and focusing on the basics, which is in the wind tunnel and in the CFD: just adding downforce. Maybe sometimes it's as simple as that."


Russell theorized that after all the trail and error since the beginning of F1’s ground-effect era, Mercedes might have squeezed all the potential performance out of its existing equipment

"I think we've understood enough so far that we just need to add downforce," he explained. "We've changed philosophies and we've changed concepts quite a few times now over the last two years.

"My personal view is that no matter what concept you're on, you just need to have as much downforce as possible, and you'll deal with the limitations thereafter.

"So yeah, let's see in Miami. We've got some upgrades coming to the car. Let's see what we can do with that."

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter