Mercedes AMG F1 is in crisis and faces a mountain of challenges including an internal changing of the guard with George Russell well ahead of former champion Lewis Hamilton in the driver title race. But team boss Toto Wolff remains bullish, claiming the tricky to drive Mercedes W13 F1 car just needs a relatively easy fix to unlock a title battle with Lewis Hamilton joining the fight.
Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion, is obviously coping worse than team mate George Russell with the stubborn W13 Formula 1 challenger, which suffers particularly from bouncing, known as porpoising.
For former Mercedes team mate of Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, the bouncing is like nothing he’s seen before in a race car.
“I’ve never driven a race car that bounces so much after the straight when you get into the braking zone that you can’t see where you’re going, so to speak. You don’t have any feeling for the car any more.” said Rosberg to ProSieben during the Formula E e-Prix in Monaco.
But Wolff remains confident that his champion driver will be back in the fight. All they need to do is prevent the bouncing to unlock the performance seen in the wind tunnel and computer simulations.
“From a purely mathematical point of view, it’s going to be quite difficult,” Wolff said, “But we’ve only done four races, we don’t have a huge gap. If we can unlock the potential of the car and understand it aerodynamically, we’ll be fully in the race. If the porpoising can be tamed, it is an easy fix”
For Wolff, he remains certain about Hamilton and that the British driver will come back hard to join the battle.
“He always gets stronger, when he gets mad, he flies.”