The team that has broken the record for consecutive titles knows it is third in the pack, after Ferrari and Red Bull, but cannot switch engines. In Australia, you’ll get new rear fenders to try and… get closer.
“We were among those having fun up front, inside a big show. Now it’s extremely painful not to be part of that game and because of a lap time deficit “, said Toto Wolff, director of Mercedes F1, of one start at a time. when the results were even better than the performance of the new W13, as Lewis Hamilton finished third in Bahrain and George Russell added fourth and fifth.
A serious problem is with the engine – in Saudi Arabia the Red Bull was 11 km/h faster in a straight line – but this is “frozen” until 2025, so what remains to improve in Aero Dynamics.
According to ‘Auto Motor und Sport’, the championship-winning team will have a new rear wing in Australia, where it will be raced next week, to solve the other big problem, the way the W13 touches the ground. In Saudi Arabia, adjustments were made that didn’t work, and the team opted for the simpler method, increasing the height off the ground. In addition to having slowed down, the solution did not work with Hamilton, who did not go beyond the first stage of qualifying.
“Only after we have solved the problem of the heels can we take care of the rest. And that’s a lot…”, said George Russell in Jeddah. According to analysts, the engine will cost two tenths of a second per lap, which is not even the worst – the Mercedes loses between half a second per lap to the Ferraris -, being also the most difficult to solve. Teams can’t change most parts until 2025 and only in the system that stores energy (MGU-K) can eight champions evolve.