Will Mercedes F1 Tweaks help with Catchup?

Will Mercedes F1 Tweaks help with Catchup?

Mercedes F1 team is playing catchup to Ferrari and Redbull in F12022. Mercedes F1 was down on power back in F1 2021 as well, but they came back from the woods in British Gp in style apart from the crash. Then until Abudhabi Gp, it was neck and Flag (Pun intended). But Mercedes has been in a bit of trouble this year. Will they come back this year British Gp? If they have to do it they have to do it in British Gp.

Mercedes F1 in 2022

Looking at this from the outside, it appears as though Mercedes got almost everything wrong from the outset, and considering how slow the car is they have had some amazing luck to have picked up as many points as they have done.

To start with the car is fundamentally flawed. Before preseason testing the Mercedes F1 was rightfully the favorite for the season, owed to winning 8 constructors championships in a row, and having the best engine on the grid. This is where the mistakes start to rear their heads.

They appear to have wasted the 1st test completely, choosing to hide the No side pod design until test 2. Subsequently, they have struggled to understand the car and have been playing catch up.

No Side Pod Design

In addition to that, the No side pod design doesn’t seem to be working. Multiple other teams (including the Ferrari) have stated they looked at the No side pod approach but found a quicker design. Instead of looking at that, Mercedes F1 seems to be looking at different reasons for the lack of pace. The No Sidepods means the rear tires are taking much more unrestricted airflow and potentially causing more drag and possibly even the porpoising problems.

Suggested Reading: Ferrari Engine Problems Explained

Mercedes F1 Team
No Side Pod Design | Mercedes F1

Since the 1st race, we have heard that Mercedes felt they were low on power to other teams, although the McLaren running the same engine has found the pace and doesn’t seem underpowered. There was talk that the switch to E10 fuel hurts the Mercedes engine more than others. Whether true or not we don’t have access to it, but it is worth keeping an eye on.

Wolff has also mentioned that Mercedes F1 believe the car is still quick but that the porpoising effect that they are suffering is preventing them from showing their full potential. However, Ferrari is suffering from porpoising almost as much but is significantly quicker. Now there is no doubt the porpoising isn’t helping, however, I don’t believe the entire pace deficit is down to this when other teams are still struggling with it.

Montreal Changes for Mercedes F1

 Mercedes will run with a second-floor stay on George Russell’s car from the first practice. Russell’s W13 appeared in the pitlane shortly before the session, featuring the slots that the stay will be held with. 

Mercedes F1 Team
Mercedes F1 Diffuser Detail | Credits: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes has also made revisions to the angle of its rear track rod to also help with the porpoising issue. The slightly different design is aimed at better aligning the track rod to the local flow direction – so it should help the car produce more downforce at a higher ride height.

This could help Mercedes in its quest to get the car producing as much performance as possible without running so close to the ground that it suffers from bouncing. But all these changes have made the car “undrivable” according to Lewis Hamiton.

“Our performance wasn’t where we wanted it to be,” he said. “We’re quite a long way off the pace compared to the front two teams. But also, there’s a couple of guys: Fernando [Alonso], and Sebastian [Vettel], that are very strong as well. So we’ve got work to do.

Geroge Russell – Mercedes F1 Team

So looking at this, Mercedes has next to no chance of the championship. They should be looking at beating their customer teams this season (McLaren especially) and finishing 3rd. They would also do well to work out quickly whether the No Sidepods design is fundamentally flawed and get to work on making a better car for next season. A 1-second lap difference is huge in F1, and Mercedes F1 sometimes is closer to 2 seconds down on the lead cars.

British Gp for Mercedes F1

The British Gp would be the last straw of hope for the Mercedes F1 Team according to Toto Wolff, it seems that for the W13, there just isn’t a happy with slow corner tracks. With two slow corner tracks one after the other Baku and Montreal, it may be Silverstone before we see performance updates from the car.

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