Mercedes bring floor upgrade for third consecutive weekend

Rosario Giuliana, Jaden Diaz
24 May, 2024

Mercedes arrive in Monaco with another mall package of aerodynamic improvements to revive the fortunes of a disappointing W15. The Anglo-German team is trying to recover the ground lost to Ferrari and McLaren, who have significantly reduced the gap to Red Bull.

“We have to be realistic. Monaco is not a good track for us,” Toto Wolff commented to Sky during FP1 in Monaco Monaco. More upgrades have arrived to the Mercedes W15, confirming previous reports from formu1a.uno.

MERCEDES STEP BACK: THE INNOVATIVE FRONT WING RETURNS “CONVENTIONAL” IN MONACO

We recently analysed how the new Mercedes front wing brought to the W15 still caused Hamilton and Russell some headaches. Over the course of the first seven Grands Prix, Mercedes has gradually partially evolved the initial concept of the front wing, cutting the last flap more and more. These changes were made in accordance with driver feedback, with on-track behaviour not replicating the simulator.

A further small evolutionary package has arrived in Monaco after Miami and Imola, in addition to the integrated aerodynamic components for the essential extra load – including a new rear wing – to be effective along the streets of the Principality. The Brackley team for Monte Carlo, confirming the information we had, brings a new, completely reprofiled front wing,  which says goodbye to the unprecedented design of the last tiny chord flap. During FP1 the team carried out comparison sessions between the two solutions, with Russell immediately taking to the track with the new wing.

Monaco is an atypical track to fully test the aerodynamic innovations in the absence of fast corners in support. At Mercedes, they are trying to force development as much as possible, which is why it was decided to bring the new front wing here, in order to arrive in Canada with some prior feedback on the change in philosophy and arrive in time for Silverstone in having a W15 regenerated by updates.

NEWS SPREAD AT MERCEDES: THIRD UPGRADE TO THE FLOOR IN THREE RACES

James Allison had announced that, after a slow start, the team had “begun to understand” the W15:

In Imola, we took a small step forward. The upgrades brought helped us understand the path of development.” In Monaco, Mercedes has once again introduced a new floor specification after consecutive updates in Miami and Imola.

On American soil, the biggest innovation was on the external edge. Meanwhile, in Imola, there was only a minor update to the internal daggerboards located inside the Venturi entrances.

In Monaco, the cover at the lower anti-intrusion cone has changed, designed to create a greater out-wash effect. Added to this is a change in shape in the lower area of ​​the frame to direct more air towards the venturi inlets.

“These first changes will be aimed at improving the balance of our car,” explains technical director James Allison.

 Between Miami and Imola, the new package unlocked 1.5 tenths. At both circuits, Mercedes segmented itself as fourth-fastest. The approach of James Allison’s technical team has been to spread upgrades across the year to analyse them and check the correlation. The balance and predictability of the W15 are two fundamental elements that the Silver Arrows have missed for some time:

In Suzuka, we were very slow in the low-speed sections. In Jeddah, however, we were fast at low speeds and terrible at high speeds,” Lewis Hamilton explained.

This aspect was partially improved in both Miami and Imola, making the car more drivable – an aspect from which Lewis Hamilton suffered particularly compared to his teammate George Russell. The W15’s ailments are still different, and the team is working in Brackley in view of the updates that will arrive over the summer to lead to a different aerodynamic compromise.

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