Mercedes puzzle not yet solved: 'Back in Spain with different car'

12-05-2022 13:33 | Updated: 12-05-2022 17:03
F1 News
Mercedes puzzle not yet solved: 'Back in Spain with different car'

Mercedes seemed to have solved some problems during practice for the Miami Grand Prix. Nevertheless, the reigning constructor champion is still not in good shape. The upcoming Spanish Grand Prix will be very important for the development of the W13.

Mercedes more concerned with solutions than continued development

The biggest problem Mercedes faces is porpoising. Because the car has a fluctuating downforce level on the straights, the car bumps up and down violently. George Russell and Lewis Hamilton sometimes have to lift on the straights and get off the gas earlier before the corner to stabilize the car to steer properly. In Formula 1, you lose an awful lot of valuable time doing that.

On Friday in Miami, the team seemed to have the problems under control a lot better. In the F1 Nation-podcast, Mercedes chief James Vowles let it be known that Russell's fastest time in VT1 was not a distortion, but that they were genuinely fast. During the weekend they lost that speed; that is a big problem for which there is no explanation yet within the team. So at Mercedes, this season is even more about finding a solution than it is about further developing the car.

Vowles calls Barcelona an important step

The battle with Red Bull Racing and Ferrari seems to become increasingly difficult. Vowles: "The advantage is that when we solve this incredibly difficult puzzle we get a lot of satisfaction out of it. The downside is that we have to put so much effort into it that it takes over your life. We enjoy the puzzle, but also feel the pressure of the millions of people around the world."

Barcelona is going to be crucial in Mercedes' learning process, as the team started there with the W13 during winter testing. Vowles continued: "A small correction. We have not been to Barcelona with this car yet. We were in Barcelona with the old specification. That's the interesting learning point; we can draw a line in the sand and compare it with the aerodynamic solutions we had then."

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