Azerbaijan Gp is back with a bang so are the updates. Mclaren, Ferrari, and Mercedes are the most important teams to watch. There were several upgrades up and down the pits. In this section, let’s see what’s what and how it performed in Qualifying.
Mclaren in Azerbaijan Gp
Mclaren’s list is all-encompassing Floor Body, Rear Wing, and Beam Wings. The new floor geometry significantly alters local suction distribution as well as floor structure strength. The main concept of this upgrade is made to increase downforce and reduce drag. The revamp of its technical team and the replacement of its technical director by a three-person technical committee shows how McLaren is serious about next year’s car.
But the baseline performance of Mclaren before the Azerbaijan Gp was so slow a slew of upgrades is needed for the car to get to even Q3. There are 3 significant upgrades planned in 2023. The second and third are scheduled before and after the summer break.
Has the upgrade worked? In short yes the car had an improved straight-line speed and both cars in Q3 staring 7th and 10th respectively at Qualifying. Let’s hope it continues.
Mercedes Updates in Azerbaijan Gp
Mercedes updates seem to have no effect at least in Qualifying. Hamilton 5th can be attributed to Aston Martin losing out rather than car upgrades. With a Technical reshuffle in the Mercedes team, all is not well in the camp.
The Simulator Map of Azerbaijan Gp from Mercedes seems to be on the lower side but take this image with a grain of salt.
Alpha Tauri changed the Engine cover to improve the cooling so it can run higher engine modes without shitting the pants. Meanwhile, Alpine Front suspension changes had drastic effects on the cooling of the car. Gasly’s alpine was stranded in FP1 with smoke pouring out of the front cooling duct.
Red Bull has only made minor changes to the floor and sidepods. They have reduced the depth of the sidepod inlet on the RB19. The sidepod inlet joins the chassis about 30-50mm higher this Azerbaijan Gp weekend compared to the start of the season.
Meanwhile, Haas decided to simply saw off the upper part of the DRS plane to reduce it!