The German automobile maker has been bolstered by a recent enhancement package for its W14, which seems to have aided in bridging the gap to the lead.
Nevertheless, the team recognizes that broader modifications are still required for the upcoming year as certain aspects of their current contender are far from ideal.
Making such a notable stride in the era of F1’s cost cap is challenging, with teams continually balancing development expenditures against stringent budgetary constraints.
Yet, Mercedes director Toto Wolff has disclosed that his team has carried out an extensive review of its financial operations, asserting they’re on track to achieve their objectives for the W15 without concerns of exceeding the budget.
“We’ve established a massive financial department comprising 46 members who scrutinize every detail of the cost cap,” he stated.
“This team oversees the spending trends throughout the year, and what we’ve done is essentially allocate resources to various projects.
“Last year, we consistently remained under the line, and we’ve managed the same this year. Keeping in mind a typical development transition for the next year, we’re pretty much on track.
“The bright side is our continuous learning about the car’s behavior. There will be some core design revisions for the next year, but we aren’t necessarily manufacturing things. Instead, we’re focusing on what we’re simulating – which isn’t gauged in monetary terms, but rather in teraflops or wind tunnel hours.”
George Russell, Mercedes-AMG Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG
Photo by: Steve Etherington / F1 Flow Images
Hamilton Advocates for Car Adjustments
Despite achieving significant performance enhancements from the W14, Mercedes acknowledges certain critical areas needing improvements.
Following the Canadian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton emphasized that certain challenging traits still need to be addressed, primarily the problematic rear end, which has been notably tricky in 2023.
“We’re facing issues mainly in the lower-speed corners, and that’s precisely where I was lagging behind Fernando [Alonso] and Max [Verstappen] – lacking traction exiting Turn 2 and practically every corner,” he elaborated in Montreal.
“We have a significant amount of work to improve rear downforce and efficiency in the car. But we’re making progress.”
In response to how the upgraded W14 feels, Hamilton mentioned, “Frankly, it doesn’t feel vastly different from the start of the year. There are some changes in the car’s elements, but it mainly involves having a bit more downforce.
“But the car’s characteristics remain very much similar to what we had earlier in the year.
“For the car next year, we need to remove many of these different aspects and replace them. As it stands, characteristic-wise, the car isn’t yet capable of outperforming the Red Bull. Hence, we need to work on that.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Mercedes 2024 F1 Car Modifications
Will the 2024 F1 car modifications cause Mercedes to exceed the cost cap?
No, Mercedes has conducted an extensive review of its financial operations and claims to be on track to make the modifications to the 2024 F1 car without breaching the cost cap.
What steps has Mercedes taken to manage the cost cap for F1 car development?
Mercedes has set up a large financial department that continuously monitors their spending throughout the year. They allocate resources to various projects, ensuring that they stay within the cost cap.
What challenges does the Mercedes team face with the current car?
The team acknowledges that broader modifications are needed for the next year as certain elements, especially the problematic rear end, need improvement. They are particularly struggling with lower-speed corners and traction.
What are the focus areas for Mercedes for the 2024 F1 car modifications?
Mercedes is focusing on fundamental design changes, rather than on manufacturing. The focus will be on simulation, which is not gauged in monetary terms, but rather in teraflops or wind tunnel hours.
What did Lewis Hamilton say about the current state of the car?
Hamilton emphasized the need for car improvements, especially around the weak rear end and low-speed corners. He pointed out that the upgraded car doesn’t feel vastly different from the start of the year and that more downforce and efficiency are needed.