MONACO — The first images of Mercedes’ upgraded Formula One car have emerged from the Monaco pit lane as the team prepares to run the new parts for the first time this weekend.
Mercedes is bringing revised sidepods, front suspension and a new floor to the Monaco Grand prix, which represents a new development direction for the team.
The original plan was to bring the upgrades to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last weekend, but the race was cancelled due to flooding in the area.
The new parts have been moved to Monaco, with the sidepods and engine covers on display in the pit lane as the team worked on preparing the cars for Friday’s opening practice session.
The tight nature of the Monaco circuit will make it difficult for Mercedes to analyse the data from the upgrades. Laurence Edmondson/ ESPN
The tight nature of the Monaco circuit and the way track conditions evolve over the weekend means it will not be ideal for Mercedes’ understanding of the upgrade, but the team still believes it will gain a performance advantage from the new parts.
“The revised calendar means that Monaco is now the starting point of the European leg of the season,” team principal Toto Wolff said. “It is a unique event but will still provide an opportunity to learn about the upgrades to W14 — but we also need to be careful not to draw too many conclusions from this one event.
“We are introducing the first step in a new development direction. It won’t be a silver bullet; from my experience, they do not exist in our sport. We hope that it gives the drivers a more stable and predictable platform. Then we can build on that in the weeks and months ahead.
“F1 is tough competition and a meritocracy. We are not where we want to be but there’s no sense of entitlement. It’s just about hard work to get us to the front.”