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Mercedes concede 'stretch target' would be tough

The team has changed design direction with their W14, but can they replicate the performance gains of their rivals?

Hamilton Spanish GP 2023 FP2 Mercedes
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes believes replicating the performance gains shown by Aston Martin and McLaren would be difficult, after the team switched car concepts earlier this season.

The W14 initially stuck with the same aggressive design of the W13, but this threw up problems for the team as they struggled to match rivals Aston Martin and Ferrari in ultimate performance.

Lewis Hamilton salvaged a podium at the Australian Grand Prix, before the new sidepod and floor design made its debut at the Monaco GP.

The team has enjoyed a run of podiums at Spain, Canada, and Silverstone, but Toto Wolff acknowledged the tough development battle with Aston Martin, Ferrari and McLaren will make it a challenge behind Red Bull in the second half of the season.

Shovlin: Mercedes focusing on catching Red Bull

Both McLaren and Aston Martin have made big leaps in performance throughout the year, making use of the current aerodynamic testing restrictions which reset in June.

When asked if they could potentially replicate the gains made by Aston Martin or McLaren, Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin told media, including RacingNews365: "It's encouraging because we know that the engine’s obviously, doing a good job in those cars.

"We're working hard to try and move forward. I think the step McLaren made was pretty impressive. You can see that they've changed a fair bit on their car.

"But for us, we do need to close that gap to Red Bull. We're still developing the car.

"Whether or not we could find the half a second that they look to have found, I don't know. That'd be a stretch target.

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Free Practice 3