Mercedes plans to bring upgrades so others can’t keep up

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell achieved two victories for Mercedes in Austria and Britain. This is an incredible boost for the German team, which was far from the top in the first two years with these ground effect cars. For the rest of 2024, technical director James Allison planned an aggressive development plan .

The last eighteen months have been a learning period for Mercedes. Righting the wrongs of 2022 and 2023 has been an unpleasant but essential process at Brackley.

With the new appointment of James Allison last year, the team committed to a new aerodynamic philosophy. After a difficult start to the season, Mercedes found its way to Monaco through a new W15 configuration that correlated exactly with the data from the wind tunnel.

Since then, the German manufacturer has been going from strength to strength. This is primarily because the team upgrades work as intended. Twelve months ago this was not the case.

There is an important difference between theoretical and useful downforce. In previous years, the theoretical downforce found in the Mercedes wind tunnel did not translate into usable downforce on the track due to bouncing.

As a result, the main adjustment at Brackley was the search for the same without compromising aerodynamic stability.


However, this problem is now firmly in the past. James Allison is bullish on the future, revealing a few weeks ago that upgrades will be coming at a rapid pace.

“Our challenge is simply to keep those upgrades going at a pace that others can’t keep up with.”

“By doing that, [we’re] just bullying our car forward – thanks to the effort everyone here [at the factory] has put in over the coming weeks and months.”

Mercedes is not the only team with planned improvements for the next few races. Red Bull boss Christian Horner confirmed last weekend that improvements to the RB20 will arrive in Hungary. These upgrades are essential for Red Bull, which has lost ground in the development battle this year.

In any case, unlike in previous years, Mercedes was not limited by a fundamental lack of understanding of this generation of cars.

The Silver Arrows now have the necessary foundations to move forward. While colder conditions continue to favor the W15, their tool has proven to be more resilient in a variety of conditions.

Provided Mercedes can maintain its current trajectory, there is plenty of reason for optimism going forward.