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Mercedes puts Red Bull and McLaren on alert ahead of Austrian GP

Mercedes is back on the prowl in F1 - and a warning has been sent the way of Red Bull and McLaren.

Hamilton Spain
To news overview © Mercedes F1

Mercedes has fired a warning to Red Bull and McLaren that it is now "fighting for bigger points" after turning its W15 Formula 1 car around.

At the start of 2024, Mercedes was cut adrift of the leading teams, but has worked to iron out the issues plaguing the car, with a new front-wing appearing to have the desired effect with performances improving. 

George Russell bagged pole and a podium in Canada, whilst Lewis Hamilton took his first rostrum of the year in Spain, with the other car finishing fourth in both races, with the car leap-frogging the Ferrari in terms of the pecking order.

The Brackley team are firmly locked into fourth place in the Constructors' on 151 points, 86 behind McLaren in third, but engineering chief Andrew Shovlin has issued a warning that Mercedes is back on the prowl. 

"It's great to see both drivers on the podium in the last two events. That's a sign of the progress that we've made with all the hard work back at the factory," explained trackside engineering director Shovlin. 

"But we want more, we want to do better than third places, we're working hard, and we've got plans and we've got parts coming and hopefully that will all come to fruition.

"In terms of Austria, it's a tricky circuit and it's a sprint race. So with a sprint race, you've got one hour to get the car sorted out and set up.

"Now, the recent changes we've made to the car, it's an easier thing to work with. The drivers have been much happier with the start setups and we've had to make fewer changes.

"Hopefully that will put us in a good place to start the weekend. You've then got two sets of qualifying, two separate races, so there's plenty to contend with. 

"But the drivers, the team, they're all enjoying racing the car that we've got now. We're fighting for the bigger points and we're excited to get going in Austria.”

Coy over upgrades

"We've got a plan to bring more performance to the car and it's some of the areas that we've been working on recently, just aerodynamic development, mechanical developments," he added. 

"Those are coming through in the next few races, so we don't really want to give our competitors an idea of when we're bringing an update because then they'll be pushing to try and bring one sooner.

"But certainly we've got more stuff coming. We can see that gap getting down and as it gets smaller, it's motivating people even more to sort of push to bring small developments. 

"Just bringing a few hundredths of a second to a car can see you further up the grid, and that gives you an opportunity to finish in better places. 

"So we are flat out, but I won't tell you quite what the development plans over the next few races are.”

Also interesting:

Verstappen's brilliant win, as Norris is continuing to develop as a driver. Perez's struggles and Lewis Hamilton's return to the podium are also discussed!

Join the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, reflecting on the Spanish Grand Prix and looking ahead to this weeked's Austrian Grand Prix!

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