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What Mercedes is hoping to achieve with its Austin upgrades

The new upgrades will be available to both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in Austin.

Russell Qatar
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes' intentions with its final big upgrade package of the 2023 season has been revealed, with the W14 set to receive a new floor in the United States.

The team has been grappling with trying to recover from its flawed W14 zero sidepod concept all season with its conventional sidepod package in Monaco steering it onto a path it hopes will enable a challenge to Red Bull in 2024.

Mercedes is in danger of a first winless season since 2011 if it fails to win any of the final five Grands Prix, but a new upgrade package is set to be introduced in Austin.

However, the new parts, available to both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, will only be available to be tested for one hour during practice on Friday owing to it being a Sprint weekend and cars entering parc ferme when Grand Prix qualifying begins.

Below is an explanation of what Mercedes is hoping to achieve with its W14 floor upgrades, and also the sizeable packages brought by Haas and AlphaTauri to the race.

Mercedes, Haas, AlphaTauri F1 upgrades

The upgrades introduced at the Circuit of the Americas concern the Floor Body and Floor Edges, with the aims of improving air-flow conditioning and aerodynamic loads.

This has been achieved by raising and reprofiling the leading edges of the floor, while the extra load needed to create downforce has been achieved by extending the forward floor flap towards the rear of the car.

Mercedes is hoping that the new floor edges can improve air-flow to the rear of the car and the diffuser with the goal of improving the rear downforce - a lack of which has been a constant gripe for both Hamilton and Russell all season.

As for the increased floor load, the ambition is to increase the extent of the cambered froward section of the floor to support increased load - thus bringing more performance.

Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren have not brought any upgrades to Texas, with Haas's sizeable package finally being introduced.

Guenther Steiner's team has brought new front brake ducts, floor, sidepod inlets, engine cover and cooling louvres to the VF-23.

The team is hoping to increase aerodynamic load and efficiency with increased airflow management downstream.

AlphaTauri has also brought a big package, concentrating on the load of the floor, airflow efficiency and a cooling package to ensure performance without any detriment to the rear-wing.

F1 2023 United States Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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