Mercedes exonerates engine and blames poor performance on rebounds

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An on-board camera shows how the Mercedes car oscillates at high speed on the Jeddah circuit (Video: F1)

THE mercedes ends the first double round of the 2022 season of Formula 1 – you Bahrain GP and give Saudi Arabia – lots of unanswered questions. Even though he is in second place in the Constructors’ World Cup, it is well known that this is a circumstantial situation: Ferrari and red bull have better cars than the Silver Arrows by a wide margin. And while the blame for the problems lies with two specific issues, Mercedes highlights one and downplays the other.

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German magazine Auto Motor und Sport has reviewed the team’s performance so far. In Bahrain, the difference with mercedes for the pole was 0s680. On Sunday, when the safety car appeared after the Pierre Gasly problem, the gap between the leader Charles Leclerc and Hamilton was 38s275, meaning a loss of 0s89 per lap.

Already there JeddahRussell was 0s904 behind the pole Sergio Perez and in the 30 laps between the end of the safety car period caused by the Nicolas Latifi accident and the end of the race, Russell was 32.732 seconds behind the winner Max Verstappen. That’s a loss of 1s09 per turn. The vehicle indicates that the mercedes lost about 11 km/h per lap red bull on the straights, while the losses in the most unfavorable corner were 15 to 20 km/h for the Ferrari.

The slowness has an explanation. THE mercedes suffer more than any other team from porpoising, car bouncing as a side effect of ground effect. To try to reduce the problem, the team chose to increase the rear wing and to weigh down the racing car to bounce less, but also slower. The W13, today, is one of the heaviest cars on the grid.

Jeddah because the track is smoother. We were wrong. We still do not understand the factors that create this phenomenon, we are in the learning phase”, quotes an engineer from mercedes.

In this way the mercedes regards this as the main problem at the moment and considers that Ferrari has the most aerodynamic stability of the entire peloton. Even with the dolphins the drivers do not lose the north of the car. This mystifies the team and at the same time relieves the faults of the engine. Despite the difficulties faced by all Mercedes-powered teams, managing director Toto Wolff still believes it is a minor issue.

“We haven’t done the best job in different areas. It’s hard to estimate how far we’d be if we could lower our car. We have deficits above that of the motor,” he told AMuS. “They are all close. The motor causes a maximum of 0s1 to 0s2 of loss per revolution,” he assured.

Besides mercedes has a drag issue so is preparing a new rear wing for its Australian GP debut. The performance, however, doesn’t tend to be groundbreaking.

“Every week we go around in circles with the problem and the rest of the development stops. You can’t make up the deficit we have until the next race. We have to work with the future in mind and protect what we conquer. We cannot fall into the trap of trying to predict where we will be this summer,” he said.

The Australian GP is scheduled for the weekend of April 8-10.

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