Mercedes detail ‘game changer’ upgrade

The long awaited Mercedes AMG F1 upgrade suffered a setback this week after the cancelation of the Emilia-Romagna Grad Prix. However F1’s dominant team in Formula One for the best part of a decade has revealed the upgrades will now debut in Monaco.

This is an unusual decision given Monaco is an a typical track and by adding in a huge number of variables to the car setup, Mercedes are making life difficult for themselves.




Mercedes upgrade “major surgery”

Add into the mix the importance of qualifying well is never at more of a premium than in Monaco and Mercedes decision reveals much about their current train of thought.

Firstly the intergeneration of the new components Toto Wolff described as “major surgery” is so complex that while the W14 due to appear in Imola is not a classic B-Spec car, the modifications are clearly an all or nothing change.

Secondly as the Mercedes boss also revealed, the team believe the upgraded W14 WILL be quicker than its predecessor.

Mercedes released a YouTube video on their official channel with a number of their senior personnel explaining how they expect the upgrades to perform.



The car is a constant evolution

Duncan Elliot, the Brackley squad’s head of composite design explains the process from behind the scenes.

“It’s fair to say the car is constantly evolving. In addition to the underlying development rate of the car there are also events specific developments that we target such as the low downforce rear wing for events such as Spa.”

“It’s fair to say that the development direction can also change and try to ensure that we always achieve maximum performance.

“We work closely with the aero group to optimise the solution ahead of the final release. We then work closely with manufacturing to ensure we achieve the best quality components.

“The biggest challenge is always time, the quicker you can go from the tunnel to the track and positively impact the race weekend, the better.”

Alonso has one big regret



Airflow a primary focus

Claire Simpson who leads the aerodynamics group claims the primary focus is to ensure the airflow around the car is working well and believes the wind tunnel results suggest this is the case.

“The second part,” she adds, “of it is then to come up with different ways of trying to target that with the geometry and within the regulations that we have.

“And then we would do a mixture of testing – so we’d run simulations to try and understand if we can manipulate the flow field in the way that we want to.

“Then if something was to be successful from that test, we would then take it into a wind tunnel test and try and understand if it’s improved the aerodynamic performance or not.”

Hamilton/ex-physio update



On track transfer crucial

Mercedes head of trackside performance, Ricciardo Musconi, wraps things up explaining the final piece of the jigsaw is the transfer of the theoretical learning to the specific track at the upcoming race weekend/

“It’s all about striking the right balance between learning about the new upgrade and maximising the performance of that specific race weekend.

“We need to know exactly what the expectations are in terms of car balance. We need to see if we can match those expectations if they are translated into the behaviour on track.



Spares may be in short supply

“The driver feedback is pivotal when we’re bringing a new upgrade and knowing if it performs as intended. The drivers are really good at picking up specific events around the lap and pinpoint them to the engineers.

“We gather after the debrief and look at those specific examples and find out exactly what was going on at that time, and if the upgrade is doing what we were intended to do.”

It will be tough for Mercedes to deliver all this in slick fashion around the narrow streets of Monaco and it could be the drivers are forced to drive more conservatively than they would do usually as the supply of new components may not be fully up to regular stock levels.

READ MORE: Cancelled Imola. Advantage Perez

One response to “Mercedes detail ‘game changer’ upgrade

  1. Why does MB have to make so much noise before the event? Is it part of Wolff’s usual game plan to play politics hoping to keep the opposition guesing? If the idea is to stress up RB, they will only be laughing at all the MB antics.
    If after all this brouhaha, if the car turns out to be the same lemon as before, then the right comment will be “The operation was successful, but the patient died.”

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