Mercedes bullish in the face of ‘stern test’ ahead


Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix will be a “stern test” for his team.

However, the Austrian hopes the new batch of updates will push the team in the right direction as they continue to regain their form.

Mercedes has endured a difficult start to the 2024 season and currently sits fourth in the Constructors' Championship with a best result of fifth at the season-opening race in Bahrain.

The Brackley-based team have been playing catch-up since the introduction of new technical regulations in 2022.

With more upgrades on the way for the upcoming weekend of Imola, Wolff is keen to assess its potential – but noted it will take some time before a sensible step forward is made.

“We are now a quarter of the way through the season,” Wolff said.

“The first six races were not straightforward, but we have built a clear understanding of the areas we need to improve and have formed a clear path forward to address this.

“It will be several races before we see this come to fruition, but everyone is working hard to make it happen as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will look to maximize the package we have available.

“We are bringing further updates to Imola and we hope they will push us in the right direction.”

Sprint break

Mercedes also brought upgrades to the previous round in Miami, but faced a challenge as it only had one practice session to test the elements amid a fast weekend.

With the return of the traditional format this weekend at Imola, Wolff stressed that it will provide Mercedes with an opportunity to understand its package further.

“After two successive rounds of sprint races, we are now returning to the usual format of the weekend. It gives us more time to improve the settings, but Imola is still a demanding circuit that challenges both car and driver.

“It has a lot of fast, flowing sections, but some low-speed turns too and a bumpy, difficult surface.

“It's narrow, which makes overtaking difficult, and it has a lot of elevation gain. It all comes together to form a tough test and it's one we're looking forward to.”



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