Formula 1: Mercedes wants to ‘make our car faster’

Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix is ​​live on 5 Live and the BBC Sport website

Mercedes says they have performance upgrades for their car as they try to keep up with Red Bull in the World Cup.

Team manager Toto Wolff said after the Grand Prix in Styria that the team had shifted focus to their 2022 car.

Technical chief James Allison said: “We have a number of things that will make our car faster in the coming races. Let’s hope they prove adequate.”

Allison said the upgrades would be on both the chassis and engine side.

And he said there was no contradiction between Wolff’s remarks after the race and the reality of the team’s development program.

Wolff had spoken a number of times over the weekend at the Red Bull Ring about Mercedes’ focus on 2022, and after the race he was asked if he thought there would be no more upgrades to the car in 2021.

His response was, “That’s basically what I say, yes.”

He went on to say that the new car philosophy, introduced by a change in the rules next year along with budget and aerodynamic research and development restrictions, meant “you have to choose the right balance and pretty much everyone will be on next year’s car” “.

Speaking to the official F1 Nation podcast, Allison said: “I do not think the two things are in conflict and I do not think Toto has said exactly that. [there will be no more upgrades].

“What Toto points out is that next year’s rules are a big and hairy affair, and they require a huge amount of our attention.

“So most of our factory focus has shifted to next year, the discovery of performance for next year, but that does not mean that there are no things still in the food chain from before the focus switch.

And besides, it’s not the whole factory, and we’re only one of two factories – there is also the power unit factory, and there is a little more to come from PU.

“So there’s something more aerodynamic change, a little bit of PU we hope for on the delivery side, and a few things that are not as tidy as we would like us to still have the opportunity to correct, while this season is still very much alive. and warm. “

Max Verstappen’s victory at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday was his third in four races and the team’s fourth in a row. The Dutchman leads Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton by 18 points by entering this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix on the same track.

The performance shift between Mercedes and Red Bull from 2020 to 2021 has been dramatic, despite teams being forced to transfer large parts of their cars from last year to this.

Mercedes dominated last season, winning 13 of the 17 races as Hamilton took a seventh world title.

This year, Red Bull has won five of the eight races, with Verstappen winning four victories and teammate Sergio Perez one and Hamilton three for Mercedes.

Governing body FIA introduced aerodynamic changes to the cars for this season to slow them down to put less strain on the tires, which suffered a series of failures in 2020.

These seem to have influenced Mercedes more than Red Bull, a situation that the world champions believe stems from the various aerodynamic design concepts used by the two teams.

Allison said: “What has certainly been true is that ever since the rule changes that were introduced aerodynamically to fit the tires, we have found it hell hard to find the kind of performance enhancement rate that we did before those rules have. made our lives more difficult than we would have liked. “

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