Silver will be bringing a new rear wing to the Australian GP as they seek to improve the performance of the W13, which currently lags far behind the Reds and Bulls.
The first two races of the 2022 season were worrying for Mercedes, who could not even come close to handling the pace of the leading pair Ferrari and Red Bull at the GPs in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia was the biggest concern, because despite switching to a bump-free track, which Mercedes hoped would ease its bouncing problems, it didn’t really improve at all.
“We had assumed there would be less bounce in Jeddah because the track is flat,” explained a Mercedes engineer auto motor and sport,
“We were wrong about that. We still don’t fully understand what factors trigger the phenomenon. It’s a continuous learning process.”
Lewis Hamilton suffered a shock elimination in Q1, while teammate George Russell qualified in P6, and even surpassed Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.
The engineer explained that “differences in set-up were minimal”, so it was only a matter of Russell hitting the W13’s narrow window while Hamilton appeared to be walking the track.
But another big concern with the boom for Mercedes has been its high-speed performance.
Auto Motor und Sport reports that on the Silver Straits they lost to Red Bull by 11 km/h, while in the high corners of 5 to 9 and 15, they lost to Ferrari by 15 to 20 km/h.
Mercedes, however, is not recognizing the UP as its main problem, believing that it loses “at most one to two tenths of a lap time”. Instead, they believe their lack of high speed is due to drag.
Mercedes will unveil an updated rear wing for the upcoming Australian GP, which will try to make inroads to fix the issue.
It was put forth to a Mercedes engineer that, having driven the smallest rear wing in Jeddah, combined with the W13 which uses its ‘zero-pod’ design, it was hard to believe that the car had such a huge air drag. can make. ,
“Don’t look at the car’s surface and the rear wing flaps,” replied the engineer.
“It’s confusing. The drag mainly originates from the skin blades of the rear wing and the underside of the rear wing. And therein lies the problem.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was not keen to anticipate where the team’s development work might take him in terms of improvements in the coming races.
Instead, he said the team would not fall into the “trap” of predicting where they would land in the summer.
“The gap we have we will not fill in the next race,” he said.
“We have to work ahead, protect behind, and not fall into the trap of predicting where we might be in the summer today.”