Mercedes W10, Suzuka, 2019

Bottas expects “decent step” from Mercedes upgrade

2019 Japanese Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas expects to see a clear benefit from Mercedes’ new aerodynamic parts, including updated sidepod wings, in the Japanese Grand Prix.

“We have a pretty solid update package this weekend,” said Bottas.

“Obviously getting to try it tomorrow, [see] how it works, but in theory it should give us more performance. How much actually that’s something we’ll find out.

“We have some rough numbers about it but it should be a decent step in terms if we’re talking about upgrade packages so far so we shall see.”

Mercedes haven’t taken pole position for any of the last five races – the longest such streak since the V6 hybrid turbo era began in 2014. Bottas is concerned the team hasn’t been competitive at tracks where they expected to do well.

“In the second half we’ve had tracks that we’ve thought on paper should be quite good for us and [Ferrari] have been able to beat us. So for sure with the new package we hope to gain some more performance and that way be stronger.

“But that’s how it is now, it’s super-competitive. We know they are going to be strong here again and I guess we will see. But for sure if they perform better than us here it means we need to work even harder if we want to be beating them.”

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2019 F1 season

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Mercedes W10, Suzuka, 2019
Mercedes W10 new sidepod wing, Suzuka, 2019

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on “Bottas expects “decent step” from Mercedes upgrade”

  1. They’ve finally added cup holders

    1. LOL! A slat-pack of them.

  2. There is definitely something “fishy” going on with Ferrari engines, so Mercedes must work as hard as possible to close the gap to “Jet engine” from Ferrari.

  3. Man, that is are some fancy finnage! It seems counter-intuitive that something so complicated should make the air work more efficiently. I imagine myself as a bit of air squeezing through that lot and wondering where the hell I’m meant to go. But I guess that’s why I’m not an aerodynamicist. I’m sure it will work beautifully!

    1. How on earth does the driver get past that lot to climb into the car without breaking it?

  4. I read an article a ways back that talked about how Ferrari skunkworks was developing a new 3D printed honeycomb lattice steel alloy piston that was supposed to be as light as aluminum yet have the thermal and wear profile of steel. Maybe combine that with a new fuel and better engine mapping and that could explain their speed advantage.

  5. John Ballantyne
    11th October 2019, 11:32

    The wing things are getting ridiculous again. A slight touch in turn one drops shards all over the track, which won’t affect all of the following cars but they will get a few of ’em!

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