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Mercedes bullish in the face of 'stern test' ahead

Fresh upgrades will be fitted to Mercedes' W15 challenger this weekend at Imola as the Brackley-based squad continues to seek added performance.

Russell Miami Sprint
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has stated the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend will be a “stern test” for his squad.

However, the Austrian is hopeful that its fresh batch of upgrades will push the team in the right direction as it continues to recover its form.

Mercedes has endured a difficult start to the 2024 season and currently sits fourth in the constructors' championship with a best result of fifth coming at the season-opening race in Bahrain.

The Brackley-based squad has been playing catch-up ever since the introduction of new technical regulations in 2022.

With more upgrades on the way for the upcoming weekend from Imola, Wolff is keen to assess their potential - but noted it will take time before a reasonable step forward is made.

“We are now one quarter of the way through the season,” said Wolff. 

“The first six races have not been straightforward, but we have built a clear understanding of where we need to improve and shaped a clear path forward to tackle that. 

“It will be several races before we see this bear fruit, but everyone is working hard to bring them as soon as is possible. In the meantime, we will be looking to maximise the package we have. 

“We are bringing some more updates to Imola and hopefully they push us in the right direction.”

Sprint race break

Mercedes also brought upgrades to the previous round at Miami, but faced a challenge in that it had just a single practice session to test the items amid a sprint weekend.

With the traditional format returning this weekend in Imola, Wolff highlighted it will offer Mercedes a chance at further understanding its package.

“After two Sprints in a row, we now go back to the more usual weekend format. It affords us more time to refine the set-up, but Imola is still a demanding circuit that challenges both the car and the driver. 

“It has several fast and flowing sections, but some low-speed corners too and a tricky, bumpy surface. 

“It's narrow, which makes overtaking difficult, and has plenty of elevation. All that combines to provide a stern test and one we're looking forward to.”

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look ahead at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The trio discuss last season's cancelled race at Imola, whether McLaren's Miami pace is genuine and if Mercedes teenage sensation Andrea Kimi Antonelli will make his debut before he turns 18.

Want to watch the podcast instead of just listening? Check it out here.

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