Mercedes F1 W15 - The Last Supper?
Will Imola Upgrades Be The Last Supper For Mercedes or Lead To A Ressurection?
Formula One

Mercedes F1 has struggled to master the return of the ground effect era, and the team is now but a shadow of its former championship-winning glory. In stark contrast, Red Bull has dominated the field with an unprecedented level of superiority rarely seen in a generation. The bold zero side-pod concept introduced by Mercedes in 2022 proved ineffective, yielding negligible results. Although the team managed a solitary victory at the Brazil Grand Prix in 2022 and secured second place in the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull has surged ahead, with Max Verstappen clinching his third championship in 2023 with overwhelming dominance.

In a bid to regain competitiveness, Mercedes went back to the drawing board for the 2024 season. The new W15 abandoned the zero-sidepod concept, instead adopting a design similar to Red Bull’s “undercut” sidepod. However, this change has not yielded the desired results. The W15 remains unpredictable, delivering sporadic competitive lap times followed by inexplicable declines in performance. As a result, the car is currently regarded as no better than the fifth-best on the grid.

Miami Grand Prix Updates Fail

At the Miami Grand Prix, Mercedes introduced significant updates in an attempt to improve their situation, but these efforts fell short. In contrast, McLaren’s updates proved successful, enabling Lando Norris to secure his maiden F1 victory—a notable achievement considering McLaren uses Mercedes engines. Despite these setbacks, Mercedes continues to fight, both on the track and behind the scenes.

Mercedes is set to arrive at the Imola Grand Prix with major upgrades, and team principal Toto Wolff believes that the engineers have identified the root cause of the W15’s inconsistent performance. During a recent media interview at the Miami Grand Prix, Toto Wolff stated:


“I think we understand much more what is needed to get the car in a better place because it’s so clear now what it does and why we struggle and where we struggle,” he said in Miami.

“In Formula 1 you can accelerate development and produce the beats and we’re flat out. The design office is all in. The production operations are flat out.”

“The rest has been doing a good job. All of the factories are really in sixth gear in order to bring stuff to the car that we believe can be very helpful. I think we know what we do.”

“In terms of what they’re bringing to the car, you can’t really rush it because you’ve got to get to the point where you say now it’s good to be released into production.”

“And once that part comes, or once it’s come, they need to be sorted. So this is a matter of many weeks.”

Mercedes F1 W15 - The Last Supper?
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