As Lewis Hamilton ‘Counts the Days’ for Improvements, Mercedes’ “Flawed” Strategy Called Out With Destructive Warning

Published 05/23/2023, 8:00 AM EDT

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via Reuters

Prior to the start of the Azerbaijan GP, F1 went through a 4-week hiatus owing to the cancellation of the Chinese GP. Most teams took it as an opportunity to make major improvements in their cars. Mercedes, however, did not follow suit. As per their development plans, they had an upgrade package planned for the race in Imola. However, after the cancellation of the Grand Prix owing to the devastating floods, Lewis Hamilton & Co. has had to wait a bit further. But is the upcoming Monaco GP really the best place to field the changes?

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We are 5 races into the season and Mercedes has only had one podium finish. The need to improve is urgent otherwise Hamilton could once again go a full season without a race win. Besides, for a team of their stature, the goals exceed just aiming to win a few races. That is the reason why the Briton in a recent interview revealed his excitement for the new upgrade package. He went as far as telling how he was “counting the days” before it would happen.

Why Mercedes’ plan to bring upgrades in Monaco could backfire

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Toto Wolff recently revealed that the upgrades have shown promising results on the simulator. However, he refused to get his hopes up as actual results often turn out differently from the ones on the simulator. But given Monaco’s shorter straights and some of the closed sections, it does not make for a great circuit to give the teams a fair assessment of their cars.

via Reuters

Adding another reason to the list on F1’s Monaco Preview Show, former F1 driver, Jolyon Palmer said, “That’s the thing about Monaco, it’s not the place to bring upgrades. The track is so different to anything else. So far, we’ve only had low or medium downforce circuits.”

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“Then you’re adding new components in and there’s the highest chance to crash of anywhere on the calendar and then you might just destroy them before you get the chance to race them.”

Ferrari has played it smart in this regard. They brought their first major change to the underbody of the car in Azerbaijan and scored a podium finish there. Now, they are waiting for the Spanish GP to bring in the next big set of upgrades.

Lewis Hamilton & Co urged to wait until the Spanish GP to test upgrades

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There are three areas Mercedes is planning on making improvements in. One is the overall aerodynamics of the car. Second is the floor, followed by the third, the front suspension. Pictures of the upgraded car are already making the rounds of the internet. However, Palmer still urged the Silver Arrows to wait for another week.

via Imago

“You’re not gonna learn as much around Monaco as you would on a conventional circuit,” he said. “That’s the thing, you’ve got Barcelona one week after, which is the traditional test track where you can really evaluate new upgrades.”

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Do you think the latest overhaul of the car will give Hamilton and Mercedes enough to take the fight to Red Bull? If not, will it have enough to at least give Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin a run for their money?

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Written by:

Nischay Rathore

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Nischay Rathore is a senior Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports with an impressive portfolio of over 850 published articles. With a keen eye for sports and a passion for Formula 1, soccer, and tennis Nischay has embarked on a journey in sports journalism. As a long-time Formula 1 fan, Nischay enjoys reflecting on races from the sport’s past.
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Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai

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