F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Mercedes nonetheless trying to find solutions

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Mercedes Crew Principal Toto Wolff mentioned forward of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix that the group was bringing small developments to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit for the second race of the 2023 Method 1 season.

After the primary two apply classes, nevertheless, it appears extra developments are wanted nonetheless.

Each Lewis Hamilton and George Russell admitted after Friday’s practices that they struggled within the W14, and that extra enhancements are wanted. Hamilton even in contrast this 12 months’s automobile to the W13 Mercedes used final season, which led to the group’s much-mentioned porpoising points.

“it’s just about the identical,” mentioned Hamilton when requested after practices on Friday concerning the two vehicles. “I undoubtedly struggled within the session,” Hamilton added. “I struggled in each classes.”

Russell was given the possibility to check the developments Mercedes dropped at Jeddah, and famous after Friday’s two apply classes that also extra is required. “There’s small modifications for this weekend however it’s most likely nearer to what we had in Bahrain in comparison with what we wish to see sooner or later,” he mentioned Friday. “We had some check gadgets on the automobile for FP2 on my facet. However once more, these are simply small issues within the quick time period. To do it proper, it takes a bit extra time.”

In a press release supplied to the media, together with SBNation, Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin famous that the group had “practical expectations” coming into Saudi Arabia. “After Bahrain, we got here right here with practical expectations. Whereas the group again within the UK is working laborious on creating us to a greater place, our focus has been to maximise the potential of what we at the moment have,” famous Shovlin on Friday. “There have been a few scheduled upgrades that look to be working OK however whereas taking us in the proper route, they aren’t an enormous step.”

Nevertheless, each drivers, in addition to Shovlin, discovered some silver linings for the Silver Arrows. “Pink Bull are clearly out in entrance, however we’re studying tons about our automobile. These learnings will assist us in each the quick and medium-term,” mentioned Russell after the twin apply classes. “As is all the time the case in apply classes too, we’re undecided what energy modes everybody was working so we’ll know extra tomorrow.”

For Shovlin, when the items got here collectively Friday, the W14 did present some tempo, which is a promising signal for the weekend.

“Nonetheless, we’ve bought loads of data to choose via to work out the setup for tomorrow,” famous the group’s Trackside Engineering Director. “The tempo after we get the lap collectively didn’t look too dangerous, however the automobile hasn’t been simple sufficient to drive in order that’s one thing we’ll look to enhance tomorrow forward of qualifying.”

Wolff even took a while proper alongside the monitor to be taught every little thing he may concerning the W14, and the remainder of the sphere:

Hamilton — whose contract standing is changing into extra of a subject for dialogue this week, with Wolff noting that he would settle for Hamilton leaving if Mercedes’ present struggles final “years” — promised that he, and the group, would give it every little thing the remainder of the weekend.

“It’s a troublesome automobile to drive however I do know everyone seems to be working so laborious on the manufacturing unit,” mentioned the seven-time world champion. “It gained’t be solved in a single day and can take a while, so we simply must be affected person and provides it every little thing we are able to right here on the monitor.”

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