F1 News: Hamilton encouraged by first impressions of W14 updates

Jaden Diaz
27 May, 2023

Mercedes have been the talk of the paddock going into this weekend, with the W14’s new sidepod updates capturing plenty of attention and headlines.

Imola was initially the target to introduce this crucial upgrade package, but the cancellation of last weekend’s action in Emilia-Romagna has forced many teams to change their plans.

Understanding, correlating and optimising new parts is a difficult task at the best of times – let alone at a circuit with such anomalous characteristics as Monaco.

However, it made more sense logistically for the Silver Arrows to get some mileage under their belt and gather some important data – even at a relatively unrepresentative track.

Important information can still be collected, not just for the drivers but also for the engineers as well.

Lewis Hamilton already feels that the first practice sessions of the weekend have been productive, despite the sub-optimal circumstances heading into the start of this new direction:

“It’s not the place, ultimately, to test an upgrade. But the car was generally feeling good,” he told the media on Friday.

MonacoGP - Montecarlo - Mercedes W!4

“It’s a shame that we weren’t as close as I’d hoped [to the front] at the end of the session. 

“But I definitely felt the improvements, and I’m grateful for them. I’ve just got to keep chipping away and see if we can squeeze any more juice out of the car…

“It is very clear where there is a lack of performance for me. We will talk about that in the debrief. 

“But hopefully, this gives us a platform moving forward.”

Even at the height of Mercedes dominance, Monaco was something of a bogey track – so a resurgent W14 was never feasibly on the cards for Monte Carlo.

With that said, the relentless development race that is Formula 1 requires continuous improvements and fine-tuning as the year progresses – regardless of any obstacles.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang