Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Miami International Autodrome, 2023

Mercedes will introduce its planned Imola upgrade for W14 in Monaco

2023 F1 season

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Mercedes will not delay the major upgrade planned for its W14 following the cancellation of this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

The majority of Formula 1’s 10 teams were expected to bring significant updates to their cars for this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at the 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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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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9 comments on “Mercedes will introduce its planned Imola upgrade for W14 in Monaco”

  1. Even if they wanted, could they NOT introduce them? Surely they have the parts packed in those trucks already and the trucks will go straight on to Monaco, so it would be hard to ship out the “old” parts, even if Monaco is not ideal to test them, it can hardly hurt

    1. More important is the changes to the suspension. This almost certainly means revised suspension attachment points on the chassis, and that’s not something they can flip back and forth.

    2. @bascb No as they already modify the chassis to recieve the new updates on it. (as grat said) I think they hope it will work at Monaco otherwise they use that race to test setups.

  2. Will Monaco be a representative circuit to test such a major upgrade? It would also be risky cost wise if there is a crash.

    1. Probably not for all of it, but I’m sure some of the data gathered will be useful if they take the specific characteristics of Monaco into account.

      And as mentioned, they probably have this upgrade path all planned out in terms of making specific components, so there may not be much choice for them.

  3. It’s a weird assumption that they could delay introducing the updates, since the circumstances only gave the team more time to have them prepared.

    1. @asd
      Still, that’s what Ferrari are doing. Assumingly in anticipation of Leclerc touching a barrier…

      1. @baasbas Yes but Ferrari bring only updates to their car not change the whole aero design as Mercedes does.

  4. If it rains in Monaco then this could be not ideal for them. It would have been interesting to see the old car in Monaco as it had considerable down force level to get a good result.

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