Andrew Shovlin says Mercedes thinks their new development direction gives them “a better chance in the long term of being able to challenge for race wins and World Championships”.
After the first race of the 2023 season, Mercedes decided to head in a different development direction with their car.
The first steps of this new direction will be unveiled next weekend at Imola, and the team already promised the W14 will receive new suspension parts and bodywork.
Now, the team’s Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin explains what they are trying to achieve with these upgrades.
“Well, if we go all the way back to Bahrain test [and the] Bahrain race, that was where we realised that we didn’t have a package that was going to allow us to fight for a World Championship,” Shovlin said in Mercedes’ Miami Grand Prix debrief video.
“And if we continued on that same development direction, we wouldn’t end up in a position where we felt we could challenge Red Bull.
“So it was around that time that we took some decisions on how we develop the car, how the car works aerodynamically, how we shape the characteristics of the car, so how it is in terms of handling.
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“What we are going to be bringing to the track at Imola is the first step really of that work.
“This takes quite a long time to develop in the wind tunnel – you can’t just do these things overnight, but the Imola package are the first steps in that direction.
“Now, we’re hoping to bring other updates later in the year. We do hope that it’s quicker, we hope it’s better in terms of qualifying and race pace.
“But as I said, the key thing is we’re not just looking to bring a lap time update.
“We’re looking to head off in a different development direction, one that we think gives us a better chance in the long term of being able to challenge for race wins and World Championships,” the Briton concluded.