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Mercedes confirm aggressive upgrade push to defeat Ferrari

But will this leave the Silver Arrows on the back foot heading into the new season?

Hamilton Japan
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Mercedes Head of Race Strategy Rosie Wait has confirmed the team will continue to upgrade the W14 to the end of the season.

The Brackley-based outfit has struggled since the introduction of ground-effect aerodynamics at the beginning of last year, with a continuation of its design philosophy into the current campaign proving to be an error of judgement having been left on the back foot in the quest for race victories.

Progress was made with a radical upgrade package at the Monaco Grand Prix that saw the disappearance of the 'zeropod' concept and led by Lewis Hamilton, who sits third in the Drivers' standings behind only the two Red Bull drivers, the Silver Arrows have assumed second in the Constructors' table.

With seven-time champion Hamilton pushing the team for improvement and suggesting earlier this term that he had not been listened to over developmental direction, a complete switch of focus could have been anticipated to gear up for 2025.

But Wait explained: "This decision is never as black and white as it seems.

"Whilst we will have to use the winter to make more fundamental developments to W15, there are plenty of things we can do with the current car which will both make it faster and aid our learning and understanding to develop next year's car - that's what we've already been doing and will continue to do.

"So, the new parts we bring to the track do both; hopefully add performance and make the current car go faster, but they are all specifically targeted around areas where we need to further our understanding.

"The things we will learn from testing them this year will directly feed into the development of the W15."

Battle for second

Mercedes' battle for second in the Constructors' standings is heating up despite the drop in performance experienced by Aston Martin.

Ferrari has rediscovered its form with strong outings recently, including a victory for Carlos Sainz at the Singapore Grand Prix, with the points difference between the two outfits only 20 points.

"We also mustn't lose sight of the fact that we are in a tight battle for P2 with Ferrari and that position in the championship is really important to all of us," explained Wait.

"So, we have upgrades in the pipeline and will continue to be bringing them to the car."

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