The W13 has proven a difficult car for the Silver Arrows so far this season and many are touting the Spanish GP as the one where they will make a decision whether to continue on with their current design concept or whether to change it for something else.
Indeed, Barcelona gives them the opportunity to compare their current ‘zeropod’ design with the more conventional sidepod set-up they had during winter testing directly, and the data they get from this weekend could be very telling.
Speaking ahead of the race weekend, then, George Russell has said that this could be a real pivotal moment in the campaign for the Silver Arrows:
“I think this weekend is for sure going to be important, as most weekends are,” Russell said to the gathered media here in Spain.
“But I think Rome wasn’t built in a day and it is taking time to first recognise what the problems are, develop things back at the factory to try and resolve these problems and then try to implement them.
“Obviously we don’t get much track time and Miami was a first taste of the direction we need to take. I think this weekend will be the second taste and I think we will have a good conclusion after this weekend if we can continue down the path that we’ve chosen or we need to go down a different path. So that’s exciting.
“I think if this is the path, we’re not going to suddenly see us on the top step of the podium. But either way we will have a positive outcome from this weekend.”
Mercedes have got a car that is clearly quick but only in a very small window of optimal performance and that is an issue.
This weekend is going to provide potentially a lot of answers, however, and so it’ll be interesting to see just what they decide to do based on the information they garner this weekend.