Toto Wolff, the Mercedes-AMG F1 team principal, is confident that his team is now heading on the right path with the development of the W14 after bringing a slew of fresh enhancements for their vehicle to Monaco. Wolff expects to see the Silver Arrows go closer to the head of the pack in the Spanish Grand Prix next weekend, which will give them a much clearer picture of how their new components are working. Lewis Hamilton, who finished fourth in the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, said he was "really happy" with the Mercedes improvements package that helped strengthen his vehicle and put him ahead of teammate George Russell. Mercedes' Formula 1 team has been struggling since the beginning of the year, with just one victory in the previous 29 races. They're third in the constructors' standings, one point behind Aston Martin, but they're more concerned about the distance between themselves and Red Bull.
F1: Mercedes Monaco Grand Prix Upgrades
In Monaco, Mercedes unveiled its redesigned front suspension, sidepods, and floor from the W14. The most noticeable modification was the replacement of the zeropod design—the target of much criticism—with a downwash ramp.
The top side impact bar acts as a winglet, maintaining the down washing of air towards the floor borders. However, unlike the now-standard deep undercut channel on the front of sidepods, this one is broad and shaped more like a Ferrari's than a Red Bull's. The front suspension also seems to have undergone significant changes and now has anti-dive geometry. This is characterised by the angular difference in height between the front and rear wishbones. Anti-dive effectiveness increases with increasing angle.
F1: Toto Wolff's Assessment of Mercedes's Monaco Performance
Wolff said that the late rain in Monaco "flattered" his team and that their perfectly timed pit stops helped them gain ground on Ferrari. With so many new components, he said, they still have a lot to learn about the car's performance.
Many spectators found it fascinating to see the floor design of the latest generation of ground-effect cars for the first time when the marshals lifted Hamilton's W14 and then Sergio Perez's Red Bull high above the circuit as they removed them from the track.
However, Wolff saw the humour in the situation, characterising the Mercedes floor as an "art installation" and "unreal" and joked that it may be more widely imitated than Red Bull's. But he did admit that the team will be comparing the two designs carefully in the coming weeks, even if they haven't had time to do so yet.