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Mercedes also factored in porpoising: 'Everyone had that experience'

Mercedes also factored in porpoising: 'Everyone had that experience'

17 January - 09:12 Last update: 11:32

Mercedes initially thought they would be on the Formula 1 grid in 2022 with an extremely fast car, but the team was taken completely by surprise with the W13's fickleness. Technical director Mike Elliott admits that his team also took the ground effect into account, but never expected the problems with porpoising to be so severe.

One of the biggest frustrations for Mercedes in the 2022 F1 season was the fact that results in the simulator did not match reality. This contributed to the fact that the team was only on the grid with a somewhat competitive car towards the end of the year and managed to win the Brazilian Grand Prix only.

Mercedes also took porpoising into account

No team was as plagued by porpoising as Mercedes, but even the German racing team knew that the phenomenon could occur with the new generation of F1 cars. However, the extent to which it happened came as a surprise. "We knew the ground-effect cars had this in the past and we also talked about it during the design stage," Elliott admitted to Auto, Motor und Sport.

He continues: "We didn't expect there to be no problems at all, but none of the simulations suggested how severe the problem would be. I think everyone has had that experience." According to Elliott, it is very difficult to simulate the problem in the wind tunnel and, moreover, it would be very expensive to create a mathematical model for it in CFD simulation. "Therefore, we did not use the means allowed by the regulations in CFD to simulate the bouncing."

Adrian Newey indicated the same in an earlier interview, but according to the Red Bull Racing designer, there are "other ways" to predict the phenomenon. For this reason, Red Bull was one of the first teams to get to grips with the problem and Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were hardly bothered by bouncing cars.