Mercedes has set 'very ambitious targets’ for 2024 F1 car. F1 news

Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ director of trackside engineering, outlines the extent of change planned for next year to address the W14’s handling shortcomings; You can watch the Qatar Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 this week, with Saturday’s Sprint at 6.30pm and Sunday’s GP at 6pm.

6:07, UK, Tuesday 03 October 2023

Mercedes’ in-development 2024 Formula 1 challenger represents a „very substantial” change to this year’s car – „we’re not clinging to any of the concepts we had before” as the former champions bid to return to title-challenging ways.

Speaking at the Japanese GP, trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said it was clear the W14 „lacked enough stability” this year, meaning drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell didn’t have the confidence to hit the high-speed corners perfectly.

Shovlin says Mercedes have set themselves „very ambitious targets” to improve things for 2024.

„We’re changing the car significantly for next year,” he said. „Whether or not we can solve all the problems we’re dealing with will depend on a lot of the programs it offers.

„Those plans are underway. They’re not perfect, but there are some good ways to try to improve it.”

Having already moved development this year from the 'Zero Sidepod’ concept that debuted last year at the start of the current rules era, Shovlin added: „The car will be different. We’ve made a lot of changes to it. But it’s so early in the development of the new car that we can say we’ve got it sorted.

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„When we launched our best cars in 2015 or 2019, we didn’t know they were going to be great cars when we built them, you work hard to find the best performance you can.

„On many of those cars, we missed targets in terms of performance, but what we know is that if you don’t set too ambitious targets, you don’t set them high enough.”

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes need next six months to be best in history to close gap on Red Bull

Speaking the day before the Mercedes engineer finished 50 seconds behind Max Verstappen at Suzuka, Hamilton said the former champions needed „the biggest six months of growth we’ve had” to „knock on the door”. Red Bull in early 2024.

It’s a challenge he believes the seven-time champion Mercedes is more than capable of achieving.

Shovlin said Hamilton and Russell were „very aligned” this season in reiterating the W14’s weak points.

„We’re certainly not sticking to any ideas we had before,” he added.

„We’re very open-minded. We’ve had a pretty good couple of years and we’re working really hard to get to the front.”

Mercedes is improving the car even more this year

Mercedes engineer Andrew Shovlin shares his opinion on whether Lewis Hamilton would have won the Singapore GP title.

Mercedes’ advantage over Ferrari in the standings is 20 points, with the Scuderia halving their deficit to their rivals in the four races since the summer break.

Mercedes has said that some more upgrades will be brought in for the final six rounds of the season to boost performance this year and help build understanding for next year’s W15.

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As they speak A post-Japan explainer videoRosie Waite, the team’s head of racing strategy, said: „The new parts we’re bringing to the track will do both; hopefully they add performance and make the current car faster, but they’re all targeted around the areas where we need to make further progress. In our understanding.

„The things we learn from testing them this year will feed directly into the development of the W15. We mustn’t forget that we are in a tough battle for P2 with Ferrari and that position in the championship is really important for all of us. So, we keep the upgrades in the pipeline and continue to bring them to the car. Let’s come.”

Will Max Verstappen wrap up his third world championship at the first attempt at the Qatar GP? Watch every session of the sprint weekend live on Sky Sports F1 from October 6-8. Stream F1 and more now for £21 a month for six months

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