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Imola F1 upgrades “won’t change the world” for Mercedes

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After falling further behind F1 2023’s dominant team Red Bull, Mercedes quickly decided that sticking with its unique floor and sidepod concept was a mistake.

It embarked on a major revamp of its W14, which also addressed front suspension issues and aimed to make the car less “toxic to drive” for Russell and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

This long-awaited update arrives in time for the first European game of the season this weekend.

But Russell stresses that his new-look Mercedes won’t immediately take the Silver Arrows to a giant leap. Instead, it should make W14 a more stable platform to develop on and extract performance from.

“Imola is a new weekend and we’re going to add some new elements to the car,” Russell said after finishing fourth at last weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, two places ahead of Hamilton.

“Hopefully it’s positive. It’s not going to change the world for us in the short term, but hopefully it’s a step in the right direction.

“I think we can’t get carried away, we need to speak on the track.

“We’ll need to see how the upgrades perform when we get there. Let’s hope they’re great, but we’ll only know on Friday morning.”

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

Photography: Jack Grant / motorsport pictures

Russell believes the W14’s handling difficulties are the reason why Mercedes has fallen behind every grand prix weekend.

In Miami, the Brackley team had a particularly challenging start, with Hamilton eliminated in Q2 and Russell just barely cracking the top 10.

“I think it might be because driving a car is so challenging right now,” Russell said. “We have a lot to improve on. As I said, we know where we are.”

Explaining the philosophy behind Imola’s upgrade this weekend, Mercedes director of track engineering Andrew Shovlin said: “We do want it to be faster, we want it to be better in terms of qualifying and race pace.

“But the point is we don’t just want to bring lap updates, we want to go in a different direction.

“We think we have a better chance to challenge for race wins and world titles in the long run.

“The Imola suit is the first step in that direction. We hope to bring other updates later this year.”

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Verstappen survives treacherous conditions to win the Monaco Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen won the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix and now has more Grand Prix victories for Red Bull than Sebastian Vettel. The Dutchman’s brilliant final stage in qualifying saw him take pole position, but his superlong performance on the medium tyres, which was almost as impressive, gave him an easy win.

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Rain during Monaco GP: plenty of chaos and incidents

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It didn’t seem to come, but after 50 of the 78 laps of the Monaco Grand Prix, it did: it started to rain. After a few laps, the rain started to fall heavily, and the slick tires could no longer continue driving. Drivers were skidding around corners everywhere, but miraculously, most managed to keep their cars clear of the crash barrier or keep going.

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Newgarden beats Ericsson to Indy 500 win after restart with one lap to go

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Josef Newgarden wins the Indy 500 in an intense final stage. There was a red flag, but the race restarted with one lap to go. Newgarden jumped at the chance and outmaneuvered Marcus Ericsson for the win, while Rinus Veekay crossed the finish line in tenth.

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