Since the start of the 2022 Formula 1 season, the world champion team has been struggling with its notorious Formula One challenger, the W13 (unlucky for some), which still remains unable after the fourth round of the year to fight for victories or pole positions. But for this weekend in Miami, the German team will bring updates to try and cure the extreme porpoising the car suffers with.
Details of exactly what Mercedes AMG F1 is planning are quite vague, but it is understood the team plans to use Friday practice to experiment with new aero parts to try and understand which direction of development will bear the most fruit long term.
“Since our return from Italy, we have learned the maximum from the weekend and, in parallel, our learning has continued in the wind tunnel and the simulations,” reveals Toto Wolff, the team boss of Mercedes,
“We’ve found several directions to improve the car, and we’ll be running experiments in Miami to correlate those simulations and hopefully confirm the development path for future races,
“Both drivers worked in the simulator before Miami and the factories have been busy producing updates for the upcoming races. The saying “a calm sea does not make good sailors” comes to mind. This team has shown resilience for many years and the difficult start to this season has lit a fire within every member of the team, determined to turn it around.”
According to Germany’s BILD newspaper, sources claim to know for sure that Mercedes are testing out a brand new floor and underbody aero devices in an effort to reduce the bouncing (porpoising) of which both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton are experiencing, particularly on the straights. Along with the underside, a brand new rear wing is said to be introduced to the W13.
Unfortunately for Hamilton and Russell fans, Mercedes does not expect overnight success with these tests, rather Mercedes wants to find a solution that guarantees success for the next four years.
Quite how the long term strategy goes for the team will largely depend on forces outside of Brackley, with rumours afoot that the next logical step for Mercedes is to sell up and be just an engine supplier, much like the worst kept secret that is Porsche teaming up with Red Bull in the coming years as an engine supplier. In other words, by the time Mercedes has a clearer path of development to go down, Daimler might just be selling up and cutting their losses sooner rather than later.
The Mercedes team currently occupies third place in the constructors’ standings with 47 points behind the leader Ferrari.