Mercedes is bringing upgrades to Miami Grand Prix

Mercedes plans to bring upgrades to the Miami Grand Prix to help boost form, as George Russell claims a return to basics is needed .

The German manufacturer had another challenging weekend in China where the promise of second place in the sprint with Lewis Hamilton was not fulfilled in the main race.

Russell finished sixth, while Hamilton dropped to ninth, as the team once again had to search for answers as to why they could not unlock the potential they felt existed in the W15 car.

And with big changes to the setup direction for both riders after Saturday’s sprint failed to deliver any potential improvement, the team admits there is still an element of mystery about what’s going on.

“I think the car is difficult to set up and drive, and that’s why you have these oscillations in performance, in my opinion,” said the Mercedes boss.

“The place where the car is, and the place where Lewis’s car was, was certainly far from optimal and it’s riding on a knife edge.”

“So what is it? We are here. We are bringing new parts for Miami and it will be interesting to see how they will behave on the car.”

Russell believes that the way the big set-up changes over the China weekend didn’t make a huge difference in performance points to the fact that perhaps Mercedes should accept that the car is currently delivering everything it’s capable of.

“We had two different setups this weekend, both of which produced very similar lap times and performance,” said Russell.

“So the work has to go back to the factory and ultimately in F1, the more downforce you have, the faster you’ll go. The setting is the icing on the cake.”

From Russell’s perspective, Mercedes needs to move away from the analysis of finding the perfect setup and return to the standard approach of focusing on aggressive development and a series of upgrades.

“We just need to keep adding performance and focus on the basics, which is in the wind tunnel and in CFD: just adding downforce. Maybe it’s that simple sometimes.”

The Brit explains that so much experimentation and change of direction happened during the ground effect era that to settle on what the team has now it may have reached the upper limit of what is possible with the current tool.

“I think we have understood enough by now that we just need to add downforce. We have changed our philosophy and we have changed our concepts several times in the last two years,” he notes.

“My personal view is that no matter what concept you’re working on, you just need to have as much downforce as possible, and then you’ll deal with the limitations.”

“So let’s see in Miami. We have some upgrades coming to the car. Let’s see what we can do with it.”