Mercedes is pushing ahead with its development programme in an attempt to regain some ground in the fight for “best of the rest”, which currently belongs to McLaren following its recent resurgence, which has resulted in back-to-back podium finishes for Lando Norris.
Although Mercedes have made gains since the start of the season, the gap to Red Bull continues to grow with Max Verstappen a dominant and seemingly unstoppable force at the moment.
Team boss Toto Wolff insists they won’t be giving up on the season and will be pushing their development programme to the limit in an attempt to match Red Bull by the seasons end. This philosophy could prove costly in some seasons, but any development gains in 2023 will pay dividends for next year, with the regulations remaining very stable and the W15 likely to be an evolution of the W14, which itself is an almost brand new car compared to that of last year after Mercedes ditched their zero-sidepod concept.
The teams last sidepod update saw them adopt a more traditional layout, but the latest update sees a big change once again, with a philosophy more similar to the concept Ferrari ran to start with before abandoning in Spain.
With this update, which has a greater downwash effect to force airflow downwards, comes an update floor with tweaks to the trailing edge and the various cutouts which help to seal the floor to create more downforce in that area.
The updates have been seen on George Russell’s car, but it’s not clear if both drivers will run the updates this weekend in Belgium.