Toto Wolff said his Mercedes team will bring its “last significant upgrade” for the season at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.
Mercedes remain in a tight battle for second place in the constructors’ championship. In its bid to fend off rivals Ferrari, the team has already said it will continue to develop the W14 car until the end of the season.
But the changes made to the car for this weekend’s action in Austin will be the final major move made by the Silver Arrows. Team principal Wolff confirmed as much in the team’s official preview of the event.
“We have a busy couple of weeks coming up as the season heads towards its conclusion, starting with a triple-header in the USA, Mexico and Brazil,” said the Austrian, who did not travel to the last two events as he recovered from knee surgery.
“It’s always great to race at the Circuit of the Americas. There’s a fantastic atmosphere and the city welcomes F1 with open arms. COTA is one of the most challenging modern tracks and a real thrill for the drivers.
“We’ll be bringing a modified floor, which is the last significant update we will take to the track this year. It will hopefully bring a small gain but more importantly, is another milestone in setting our development path for the W15.
“The battle for second in the constructors’ has become more intense in recent races. We will keep our heads down, keep pushing and aim to score as many points as we can to increase our advantage.”
Last time out in Qatar, the team was given a golden opportunity to widen the gap to Ferrari when Carlos Sainz was ruled out with a fuel system leak. But Lewis Hamilton and George Russell collided at the first corner which took the seven-time world champion out of the race, though his team-mate did recover to finish fourth and out-score Charles Leclerc.
Wolff radioed in from home to encourage Russell to concentrate on the job at hand but has only now offered his first public comments on the clash. “The last round in Qatar was a case of what might have been,” he added. “As a team, you never want to see your cars collide. It was frustrating to leave a lot of points on the table, particularly as the pace of the car was strong.
“It was encouraging though to see how the drivers and the team reacted. Both Lewis and George know the team comes first and do not ever intend to jeopardise that. I am sure we will all grow from this moment. We’re now focused on Austin and making sure we get the most out of each upcoming weekend.”