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Mercedes keen to establish if 'diva' characteristics have been tamed

Written by  Feb 05, 2018

Mercedes is keen to find out if the unpredictability nature of their 2017 car, which led to the 'diva' nickname, has been tamed with their latest design, the W09.

Last year, problems with the softer Pirelli compounds and on high downforce circuits allowed Ferrari and Red Bull to be more competitive but the strength of the engine proved decisive in what was the closest season in the hybrid era.

Ways of optimising the weaknesses were developed, though did not eradicate them but armed with the knowledge to do so with the 2018 car, motorsport boss Toto Wolff is confident progress has been made.

"We have had a good winter, I would say. No real drama, but there is always stress within the organisation at this time of year," he said, with the car being launched on February 22nd.

"It's never going completely seamlessly or smoothly because you are trying to push the boundaries, making the cars as light as possible and - eventually - as quick as possible," the Austrian added.

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Indeed, Wolff acknowledged that Mercedes won't find out for sure until they hit the track later this month but also insisted the target wasn't for wholesale changes.

"Some of the character traits from a diva, we like," he pointed out. "You need to be careful not to dump the things that actually work on the car, just to remedy the difficulties the car showed.

"We analysed it properly and when we go testing in a month's time, we will see if the car is a little bit better behaved or not."

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