The Spanish Grand Prix is a turning point in the 2022 Mercedes season. The current constructors’ champion has found the explanation for what was his biggest problem and now has the solution.
Though it’s not entirely gone Mercedes breathes with relief in Barcelona, having largely mitigated the famous pouring or bounce. An effect that forced the engineers to lift the car from behind and lose a lot of downforce.
This made the W13 of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell slow, unpredictable, or both. Until now. Already on Friday in Miami the team found some answers, but it was in Barcelona where they put into practice the first solutions with positive results.
Thanks to this, both drivers were able to take part in qualifying without high-speed rebound problems on the finish straight, although they continued to experience it in the two fastest turns, 3 and 9.
mercedes is back
Although the results do not yet show a clear advance, since George Russell remained 643 thousandths from pole and Mercedes is losing a similar figure on average this year, the feeling is much better.
Lewis Hamilton is clear that Mercedes has “taken this step and that is something that we have not seen in five races. We think we have a better idea of the direction we need to go.”.
“We don’t have the straight line rebound, which is a huge, huge difference. But we still have it in turns 3 and 9, so we still need to improve. But the car is much better”, reiterates the seven-time world champion.
mike elliottechnical director of Mercedes, confirms that the innovations implemented in Barcelona have given the expected results.
“With the package that we brought here, we can definitely run the car in a much closer position to where we ideally would. So there’s a part of the downforce that comes from that. Y the car is much more settled”says the British engineer.
“The drivers are happy now. Your body language says feel a car more like a race car».
A more natural car
The reality is that the Mercedes W13 is not a faster car, but more usable in a normal range of use. This is how George Russell explains it, who will start fourth on the grid today.
“The car is not fundamentally different, it just has more grip.. We can lower the car to the ground. We knew that would happen by solving porpoising », he notes.
“But I think we lost a lot of overall downforce to do that and the car is probably not as quick as we’d like at the moment to fight the guys at the front.”
“Now we know that this is our baseline, we can grow from that and find much more performance,” he says, aware that there is still some way to go.
toto wolff endorse the words of your team members. “Now we understand the rebound. It is simple. It’s all because of an aerodynamic effect that is created from the flexing of the ground. It was hard to come to that conclusion in a scientific way, but the team around Mike Elliott and Jarrod Murphy have pulled it off and that’s great.”
“I think we have taken a solid step in Barcelona. You’re trying to keep expectations realistic and I think the place we occupy on the grid is the best we could have hoped for»says the director of the Mercedes team.
“The other teams have been able to continue developing their cars, while we have been in a moment of pause”
Mercedes is likely to be even more competitive this Sunday in Barcelona, as its best side is usually shown on race days.
“I think we have a race car, more than a qualifying car.. I think Red Bull always had a tendency to be much stronger in the race, less Ferrari, but obviously that’s all crystal ball reading.
“The other teams have been able to continue developing their cars, while we have been in a moment of pause to understand the rebound. As soon as we can get back to regular development, as soon as we understand the tires better now that the bounce is gone, I think we’ll catch up,” concludes Toto Wolff.
Photos: Mercedes-AMG F1