Debate | 'Mercedes' major updates don't seem to be working at all'

With series of new updates, Mercedes wants to make another attempt to narrow the immense gap to Red Bull Racing. The new floor, front suspension and sidepods were already on the cars in Monaco, but it would only become clear in Barcelona whether the German team's engineers had gone in the right direction. Looking only at the final score of the free practice sessions, there seems to be little improvement, but technical man Andrew Shovlin was satisfied after the sessions. That begs the question: 'Are Mercedes' updates working or not at all?' Lewis Hamilton was not a happy man. He called Friday in Barcelona 'a difficult day', where it was hard to manage the tyres and the wear and tear was also already high. "I think from the pace that I had today, it's a struggle for me currently to get into top 10. But hopefully we'll do some changes overnight. I think it's very, very close between us and that middle after P5 back to P10, so it's really, really close between us all. It's impressive to see how the improvements that everyone seems to have made all around us. If you look at Ocon, Alpine’s are doing great. You saw the Aston Martin in second just right behind the Red Bull, which is really, really impressive. So yeah, it's not going to be easy, that's for sure," he said. A harbinger for the future? 11th place is not where Hamilton belongs, especially with a Mercedes that has had a major upgrade. But so much was the same: the place in the sub-top and middle of the pack, the acceptable longruns and the laborious fast laps. As if little had changed with the period before the updates. Of course it is still early, and Saturday and especially Sunday Mercedes really need to be there. But is Friday a harbinger of things to come? Those who excel at the Barcelona circuit can usually do quite well at all the circuits still on the calendar. Not for nothing is Barcelona one of the favourite places to test F1 cars. So we ask: 'Do Mercedes' updates work or not at all?' What do GPblog readers think of this statement?

June 2, 2023 from GPBlog