Mercedes will not delay the major upgrade planned for its W14 following the cancellation of this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.Imola circuit in Italy. However, the event was called off due to the impact of heavy flooding in the region that left the paddock largely underwater.
Mercedes was due to introduce a highly-anticipated package of changes to its car this weekend after the team was disappointed by the initial performance of its W14.
With the Imola race no longer taking place, the next round of the season will be the Monaco Grand Prix – the slowest race on the calendar by far. With the unique low-speed, maximum-downforce demands of the Monte Carlo street circuit and a higher risk of damager, some teams are considering delaying their upgrades until the following round at Barcelona. Ferrari are expected to delay the introduction of revised suspension for their SF-23 to the Spanish Grand Prix rather than run it in Monaco.
However a Mercedes team representative confirmed to RaceFans they plan to run their Imola upgrade package in Monaco next weekend. The W14s have already been modified to accommodate the new package.
Engineering director Andrew Shovlin said the changes mark are the “first step” towards addressing the W14’s handling and aerodynamic deficiencies. “We are hoping to bring other updates later in the year,” he said in a video produced by the team. “We do hope it is quicker, we hope it is better in terms of qualifying and race pace.
“We are 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.”
There are no concerns over the Imola flooding affecting teams’ readiness for the Monaco round. While the circuit remains closed due to the water levels in and around the facility, essential personnel have been permitted into the venue today to begin the process of packing and shipping equipment out of the circuit. All trucks and equipment are expected to arrive in Monte Carlo on schedule despite the disruption.
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