Mercedes is contemplating “radical changes” to its W14 car following a far from positive showing in the season opener.
The team was particularly disappointed to see Aston Martin perform so well and it went to prove that Mercedes got its car design right, as Aston Martin uses many Silver Arrows components, including the powertrain.
There is even a threat looming large on Toto Wolff, with an ultimatum given till the fourth race for Mercedes to prove that it can win a race.
Failure to do so will see the Mercedes-benz bigwigs prioritise Aston Martin ahead of its own team, since it owns a 20% stake in the Lawrence Stroll-backed outfit. This would certainly be music to the ears of Fernando Alonso, who could be in line for the ‘best parts’ produced by the Mercedes unit.
Wolff admitted that he is far from happy with what he has seen so far from the team and hinted big changes to the W14.
‘Visible’ changes to be introduced in W14 upgrade
This view has been supported by the team’s engineering director Andrew Shovlin, who understands the team faces an uphill battle but has vowed that ‘visible’ changes will be present in the early upgrade.
“Given the gap to the front, of course we are going to look at bigger departures and more radical changes. But those changes take time to turn into a faster solution in the wind tunnel – you can’t do them overnight,” Shovlin said.
“Clearly, we’ve got something that’s not in the right place that we need to work on, but ultimately the other thing is that performance gap to the front. The raw pace of the car is not good enough.
“Of course, we are looking at where we can improve the car, we are looking for potential to develop and you will see visible changes coming on the car over the next few races.
“We are working very hard at the moment to understand what we can do in the short-term future and in the mid-term future to try and get ourselves in a better place.”
Will Hamilton ditch Mercedes if title run is not possible?
Hamilton was far slower than Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the bahrain race, finishing 50.9 seconds behind the Dutchman.
While there is plenty of speculation around his future, with links to Ferrari rumoured, Hamilton has insisted that he remains loyal to Mercedes.
The British racer said that results on the circuit will not dictate his decision regarding a contract extension.
“I have been supported by Mercedes since I was 13. Having the difficult year we had last year, I’m still here, and whether or not we have a difficult year this year, I’ll still be here.
“I’m a fighter and we fight as a team. I love the challenge of finding solutions and I still believe I’m able to put the car in places that perhaps others are not able to – and I love that challenge.”
Hamilton is chasing an elusive eighth world championship, but the early signs seem to suggest that he will need to extend his existing one-year deal or find a new team next year to achieve this.
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