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What to expect from Mercedes’ last upgrade of 2023 F1 season at the US GP

Mercedes have a 28-point over Ferrari in the 2023 F1 constructors' championship

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Toto Wolff shed light on Mercedes’ expectations for their new floor at the 2023 US Grand Prix, and added it’s the last major upgrade the team will add to the W14.

With just four races left after Austin, Mercedes are aiming to avoid their first winless Formula 1 season since 2011, but Wolff stressed the success of the new floor won’t just be seen in 2023.

Mercedes have been working on their 2024 car concept ever since the season-opening 2023 Bahrain GP, where they admitted they’d followed the wrong design path before the grand prix had even started.

“We’ll be bringing a modified floor, which is the last significant update we will take to the track this year,” Wolff told the media. “It will hopefully bring a small gain but more importantly, is another milestone in setting our development path for W15.”

Aside from that outside shot at a race win, there’s battles for Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell across both championships in the final stretch of the season.

Hamilton‘s retirement from the 2023 Qatar GP was a hammer blow in his pursuit of Sergio Perez and second place in the drivers’ standings, but he remains just 30 points behind the Red Bull driver who only managed tenth in the Middle East.

But it’s Mercedes who are looking over their shoulder in the constructors’ championship, looking to protect a 28-point lead from Ferrari. After the summer break, Mercedes enjoyed a 56-point margin to the Scuderia but they’ve enjoyed a strong second half of the season including Carlos Sainz‘s memorable Singapore GP win.

And Russell is battling both Ferrari drivers and Lando Norris for fifth in the drivers’ championship, the four only separated by 21 points.

Wolff encouraged by Mercedes response

Hamilton collides with Russell at 2023 Qatar GP | Formula 1

George Russell recovered from a catastrophic start to the 2023 Qatar GP to finish fourth, but it was still a disappointing return for Mercedes given he and Lewis Hamilton started second and third.

Russell got a poor start from the dirty side of the grid and was passed by Hamilton, but the seven-time champion then cut across his teammate attempting to challenge Max Verstappen for the lead.

Hamilton‘s over-enthusiasm sent him spinning into the gravel and put Russell down to 18th, allowing McLaren to take their second consecutive double-podium, but Wolff refused to be too downbeat about the incident.

“The last round in Qatar was a case of what might have been,” Wolff added. “As a team, you never want to see your cars collide. It was frustrating to leave a lot of points on the table, particularly as the pace of the car was strong.

“It was encouraging though to see how the drivers and the team reacted. Both Lewis and George know the team comes first and do not ever intend to jeopardise that. I am sure we will all grow from this moment.

“We’re now focused on Austin and making sure we get the most out of each upcoming weekend.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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