Horner questions Mercedes “upgrade hype”

The start of the Formula One European season has rarely been awaited with the levels of anticipation of next weekends Grand Prix in Imola. From the launch of their W14 challenger Mercedes stated that the upcoming Italian weekend would see visible changes in the car.

Since the big reveal day in February much has been going on in Brackley. 



Turmoil at Mercedes

According to Toto Wolff a flurry of emails containing “numbers” have traversed the vortex of the interweb in an attempt to flush out Lewis Hamilton’s new cost of living demands.

Then the team’s chief of car design approach his boss to suggest a job swap that would see Mike Elliot promoted from incompetence in the details of the day to day to the blue sky thinking of Mercedes’ future direction.

Of course there is a whiff of a connection between this ‘promotion’ and Lewis Hamilton’s rant at unnamed senior team personnel who refused to “listen” to his input over the requirements of the car design.

During the recent race weekend in Miami, Toto Wolff dismissed the upcoming car’s upgrade as being a “silver bullet” and then proceeded to give the impression Mercedes were about to launch an entirely new car.

Russell admits damning verdict on Merc



Wolff claims ‘major surgery’ upgrade coming

“We need to manage our own expectations, because we’re bringing an update package that’s going to consist of new suspension parts, bodywork and some other things,” he revealed.

“But I have never in my 15 years in F1 seen a silver bullet being introduced, where suddenly you unlock half a second of performance. So, I very much doubt that this is going to happen here. 

“What we’re doing is we’re introducing a new bodywork, and we’re introducing a new floor and we’re doing a new front suspension and that’s pretty large. That’s a pretty large operation. Large surgery. It’s going to be a lot of learning in the virtual world, where it is good lap time.

Large surgery, whether intentional or not, does raise the spectre of something of significance, however the team’s drivers were at great lengths to play down the Imola advances.



Hamilton unconvinced

“It’s all a bit of an unknown,” Hamilton said at the recent Florida event. 

“It’s not like I have a second [a lap] upgrade coming, which is what I need. But it’s something and I think it’s a step in the right direction hopefully for us to really go on and progress so fingers crossed.”

George Russell having claimed P4 at the first of the. Season’s US races appeared equally in the dark over Mercedes impending ‘large surgery’.

“I am sure it is going to take a step in the right direction but it is not going to transform things… let’s hope it does. 

The car is a little unpredictable at the moment so hopefully it exceeds our expectations in the next race but it is going to be a long journey”.

Briatore expects little from Ferrari



Red Bull set for all time records

While Mercedes are grabbing all the Formula One headlines over the anticipated second coming of the W14 next week in Italy, Red Bull are running away with both F1 titles.

With five wins from five races and a total of 224 team points collected along the way, which by the way is 128 more than third placed Mercedes, Red Bull could set records this season that will last for a very long time.

At their current rate of progress the Milton Keynes team would finish the season over 600 points ahead of their arch rivals Mercedes and around 580 ahead of second place Aston Martin.

After the next three rounds of Formula One which are back to back weekends in Italy, Monaco and Spain, if Red Bull have maintained their 100% win rate the inevitable questions will be asked with a third of the season complete.



Horner 23 race wins “unimaginable”

Speaking to the Financial Times Christian Horner is heading off the inevitable when he states, “I think it is a massively tall order to win every race.” 

“You have 23 races, street circuits, weather will probably turn up at Silverstone, reliability, strategy, an element of luck. To win 23 races is unimaginable.

“We have won the first five and that is by far the best start we have had to a season. We want to keep that rolling for as long as we can and take one race at a time.

The record for the most wins by an F1 team in a season sits with Mercedes from the year Nico Rosberg successfully defeated his team mate to the drivers’ championship. From the 21 races in 2016 Mercedes cars won 19 with a win rate of 90.5%.

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Horner skeptical abut Mercedes upgrade hype

Horner insists, ”There are always things that can change. We are heading back into the European season and there are big upgrades coming. If you believe Mercedes, they have a completely new car.”

Asked whether he believes the Mercedes upgrade hype, Horner was coy.

“I am not going to answer that question. Ferrari have upgrades coming and the competition will start to come through. It is very easy to get carried away but there are developments in the pipeline with other teams that will only converge the grid.”

Meanwhile, successful F1 team startup boss, Eddie Jordan, believes Lewis Hamilton needs to move on from Mercedes whatever the chances of therm recovering towards Red Bull Racing.



Jordan calls on Hamilton to leave Merc

Jordan, whose team most recently became Aston Martin, believes Hamilton will struggle to win his eight drivers’ championship with his current team.

“My only concern is that Lewis has to find something else in his mojo now and he needs to get out of there. He needs to move on, just like he did with McLaren.

“Get out of Mercedes, Lewis! It’s time you reinvented yourself somewhere else.”

The perceived reasoning for Mercedes failing to announce a new deal with Hamilton is allegedly because the Brit wants to see how good the ‘upgrade’ really is.

This could explain why Toto Wolff is talking up the scale of the Mercedes upgrade while Lewis Hamilton is clearly way more skeptical.

READ MORE: Tangled rumours surround Hamilton/LeClerc swap

One response to “Horner questions Mercedes “upgrade hype”

  1. Funny and so typical… Instead of being highly motivated and driving the wheels of that Merc évery race to get the best result possible with the material he has … Sir Hamilton complains and literally just waits for someone else to give him a better car…

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