Mercedes working on fixing W15's 'fundamental' issues

Mercedes have acknowledged facing "fundamental issues" with their W15 car following a disappointing start to the 2024 Formula 1 season.

Despite high expectations of challenging Red Bull this year, Mercedes struggled in both the Bahrain and Saudi Arabia races, failing to secure a top-four finish.

Max Verstappen's dominant performances leading to one-twos with teammate Sergio Perez highlighted Mercedes' underperformance. 

Lewis Hamilton expressed concerns after finishing ninth in Jeddah, emphasizing the need for "big changes" beyond the recent overhaul intended to improve their cars from the past two years.

During the team's online race debrief, Mercedes' trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin discussed their struggles with experimenting on the W15's setup during practice sessions. 

These efforts did not yield the desired progress, indicating the complexity of the challenges the team faces in resolving the car's issues.

"We started to converge back in the general direction of where we came from arriving there," Shovlin said.

"But the learning of it is just that when you change things you can see the differences. So one car making changes, you can see how it performs run to run.

"We can also look at the global performance of the two cars but fundamentally the limitations that we had in qualifying and the race, they were broadly the same for both.

"So it's telling you it's not a small difference, it's not a tiny bit of camber or a spring or bar here and there. It's something more fundamental that we need to dig into and understand."

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