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Mercedes

Wolff: Mercedes warned off McLaren-style upgrade

McLaren's recent upgrades have transformed their fortunes after a strong Silverstone.

Hamilton Silverstone
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes was warned against following McLaren-style Formula 1 sidepods after a "substantial" loss of downforce, according to boss Toto Wolff.

At the Austrian Grand Prix, McLaren introduced the first stage of a huge upgrade package, with further parts propelling it to closest challengers to Red Bull at the British Grand Prix last time out.

The MCL60 features sidepods which are influenced by those on the Red Bull RB19, with Mercedes seemingly reluctant to follow such a design.

The team had doubled-down on its zero sidepod concept at the beginning of the season, only to abandon that in Monaco for a more conventional design, with Wolff previously saying he felt the sidepod design was not an overly important factor in performance, something McLaren boss Andrea Stella has firmly rejected.

Wolff on McLaren surge

Despite their simulations and previous reluctance, Wolff teased that a change could be in the offing.

"We had the sidepod concept and bodywork in the wind-tunnel very early on to see which avenues would open up and how much it would add to the performance," Wolff told media including RacingNews365.

"The relative loss of downforce, the way we measure it was substantial, so it was not something we wanted to follow up early in the year.

"When we change our design direction, we have a great aero department led by James [Allison], and I am sure that it will be a consideration seeing the step [McLaren] have made.

"It is exciting to see McLaren bounce back, you can within a season - and fair enough they have more wind-tunnel time - come with upgrades that change completely the performance of the car.

"We are not speaking about two-tenths, but about a second and that is good for the sport that if you do the right things [then you can improve].

"We've seen it with Aston Martin from year to year and now McLaren during the year, I like it."

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