Mercedes due chassis and engine updates

MERCEDES FORMULA 1The Mercedes W06 Hybrid is due updates to both chassis and power unit over the coming races as the championship-leading team aims to continue to fend off a resurgent Ferrari this season.

Mercedes has won three of the first four races this year, but has not enjoyed the same level of on-track dominance that it did in the early rounds of 2014. Ferrari’s victory in Malaysia and second-place finish in Bahrain has upped the pressure on Mercedes, but team boss Toto Wolff said the chassis and engine departments have reacted with a series of updates for the next few races.

“Every single team member in Brackley and Brixworth knows that we can’t afford to take our foot off the gas so we are pushing hard with developments to the car and the power unit for the coming races,” Wolff said. “Barcelona is traditionally the first race for big upgrades, so we will be interested to see how we perform relative to the competition.

“After the first part of the season, the last weeks gave us the chance to judge our performance so far – and look at what we need to do to build our advantage in the next weeks and months. We scored more points in the first four races of 2015 than in 2014 and enjoyed better reliability; the team is in a very strong position.

“The difference is the competitive situation: in 2014, we had a lead of over 100 points in the constructors’ championship; this year, it’s 52 points and we are in a close battle at every race weekend. But that’s what Formula One is all about: accepting the challenge of performing at your best for every lap of every race weekend, and always pushing yourself to be even better.”

Technical boss Paddy Lowe added: “We now head to the first European race, which is traditionally seen as the first major upgrade point of the season. But in practice, recent years have seen car upgrades become more of a constant and relentless campaign throughout the year. We may see a little more than usual after the three-week gap, however, so it will be interesting to see what each team brings to the table.

“Barcelona is one of the most demanding circuits on the calendar, testing both chassis and power unit, and it’s often said that if you’re quick here, you’ll be quick anywhere. We looked strong during winter testing – but time has passed, teams will have developed their cars significantly in the subsequent weeks and we’ll now see much warmer temperatures, so we don’t know how we’ll look until we get there. That’s part of the excitement of Formula One! We’ll have a lot of work to do on Friday to get the most out of the car and see where we stand for the weekend.”


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