Mercedes will treat Monaco update outcome ‘with a pinch of salt’

George Russell says his Mercedes Formula 1 team will take the performance of the latest W14 upgrade package at Monaco with “a pinch of salt”, with a proper assessment to be made in Barcelona.

Mercedes have made sweeping changes to their aerodynamic and mechanical packages that were supposed to work at last weekend’s canceled Imola event.

Despite Monaco’s “unique” challenges, the team decided to leave the new parts on the car and learn as much as possible about them.

“We’re not going to read anything into the performance that the new updates are showing this weekend,” Russell said.

“There are always outliers in teams that overperform around a track like Monaco, and teams that underperform around Monaco. But ultimately, we’re not designing a car to be at its peak in Monaco.

“You look at some teams in the past like Ferrari over the last 10 years, they’ve always been very strong here.

“So we just need to get through the weekend and take stock once we get to Barcelona and go from there.”

Technical detail Mercedes W14

Photo by: Uncredited

Russell conceded it can be beneficial to start the Monaco weekend with a familiar car, but he insisted the potential performance gains outweighed those concerns.

“I think you always have to come into a circuit like this with some respect, and you have to be prepared for it,” he said.

“But I trust the team. And I don’t think there will be anything scary about this new update, which throws us totally off the track.

“So, like I said, we’ll treat this weekend as sort of a one-off and then we’ll assess Barcelona again. But I can’t imagine there’s going to be anything that will necessarily hold us back. .

“And to be honest, I’m glad we’re sort of doing the update this weekend because you still want to put as much performance on the car as possible.

“And it would have been a demoralizing weekend for all of us had we known we have a bit of performance on the table just sitting there in the factory.”

Russell admitted there will be a limited amount to learn at Monaco given there are so many variables at play.

“I don’t think you’ll learn much from a race weekend like this,” he said. “So whatever we take away from this weekend, we’ll take it with a grain of salt and go to Barcelona with a clean slate.”

“Because Monaco is very difficult. I think everyone struggled last year with these new cars, the ride is exceptionally poor, compared to the 13-inch [tyre] the age of cars.

“So like I said, it’s not necessarily risky, we just wanted to get into development. It was obviously still destined for Imola last week.

“We’re not just going to sit here on performance and not use it. So yeah, maybe [it’s] bold. But it has always been the case to run this package in Monaco.”

Russell pointed out that the new package produced positive results in the Brackley team simulator.

However, he hinted that the actual on-track gains could be greater if there was a clear advantage in terms of driver confidence.

“What we’ve tried with the simulators so far has been positive,” he said. “It’s both aero and mechanical. Aero normally only talks about the overall downforce that every driver, every team is looking for. So it’s not necessarily a guaranteed ride.” time, but it will definitely bring performance.

“The mechanics, we have to wait and see once we get to the track. There are arguments to say that it can offer more on the track than on the simulation, because it will help our confidence in driving the car. car, whereas in the simulator, confidence is not really a limitation.

“So there is merit in saying that there is potentially more to be gained on the track than what we saw on the simulation.

“As I said, we just need to reassess next week. And that’s always a challenge because although there’s a lot of talk around our updates, other teams are also going to be contributing. updates, especially next week.

“So I can’t imagine there’s going to be a huge step up in anyone’s performance because we’re shifting all those targets.”

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