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What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1?

What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1
Mercedes admit to making ‘mistake’ in initial 2022 F1 car development

  • Mercedes can pinpoint “one moment” during the design phase of its 2022 Formula 1 car where they made a fundamental mistake – one they are still trying to overcome.
  • New technical regulations for 2022 brought ground effect back into F1, with the breed of cars drastically different to those of the ’17-’21 era in which Mercedes continued their domination from the early years of the turbo hybrid engine formula.
  • However, the team’s W13 design has been off the pace in 2022 compared to the RB18 of Red Bull and F1-75 of Ferrari, with the Silver Arrows in danger of a first winless season since 2011.
  • The car was affected in the early stages by the aerodynamic phenomenon known as porpoising, with it taking multiple races for new technical director Mike Elliott and his team to understand and rectify the problem.
  • Although this has been done to some extent, the W13 is still prone to fluctuations in performance, as well as struggling to get heat into its tyres for qualifying and not always being competitive on low downforce tracks.
  • And Elliott believes the root cause of this is down to one single decision taken by the team in the initial design phase.
  1. “You look at how we developed the car, and I can point to one moment in time last year where we did something where I think we made a mistake,” Elliott explained on F1’s Beyond The Grid podcast.
  2. “What you’re seeing in terms of performance and the way it swings from race to race is a consequence of that, and that’s a mistake we’ve known about for a while.
  3. “It’s something we’ve been correcting and that’s why our performance has gradually got better.
  4. “But it’s not something we can fully correct for a little while yet, and we will do over the winter.”
  5. While Elliott would not elaborate any further on the exact details of the mistake, the design of the Mercedes floor has been suspected to be the root cause of its drop in performance.
  • In the first pre-season test, Mercedes appeared with a regular car, with regular sidepods, although this had drastically changed by the second test in Bahrain.
  • Its unique ‘zero’ sidepod approach attracted attention from all teams in the pit lane to see if it was legal and quick.
  • Elliott outlined the FIA’s initial surprise at seeing the design.
  • “The aerodynamicists come up with the idea, we take another group of people, generally run by our chief designer, they will go and look for themselves and see if they can shoot it down,” Elliott explained when asked how the team decided the usual design was legal in-house.
  • “Before the test, we’d shown it to FIA, we discussed it with them, and their first reaction was: ‘Ah, that’s not what we intended’ and they worked through it as well, see whether they can challenge it.
  • “When you look at the sidepod, people say: ‘It looks very different, that must work completely different to the rest of the cars,’ and it doesn’t, it’s just a slightly different solution.
  • “Aerodynamically, I don’t think it’s a massive departure from the other cars, it’s just something that adds a little bit of performance for us.”

What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 © XPBimages RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key topics from the Singapore Grand Prix, including whether Sergio Perez’s punishment should have been decided during the race rather than after. : Mercedes admit to making ‘mistake’ in initial 2022 F1 car development
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Why Mercedes F1 is struggling in 2022?

Mercedes’ $150,000 mistake that ruined its 2022 F1 season Mercedes Technical Director Mike Elliot points out the mistakes in the W13 that resulted in their poor 2022 run. After 8 seasons of complete domination in the sport, Mercedes are currently struggling in F1.

No one would have believed the sudden fall of the 8-time Consecutive F1 constructors World Champions. The 2022 season saw new-generations cars after major regulations change. this was aimed at improving the racing element of F1 and inhibiting better duels. But the changes in the new cars hurt Mercedes the most.

The W13 struggled to find pace in the earlier races compared to Ferrari and Red Bull who whizzed past them in the early stages of the season. Interesting vortice visible under the Mercedes W13 front wing in front of the floor channel: 🧐 — Daniel Biały (@f1talks) The car was troubled by extreme bouncing in straights and high speeds which made it a challenge for the driver.

  1. Still, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell managed to drive the cars to fetch points regularly.
  2. Mike Elliot has been with the Silver arrows since the 2012 season.
  3. He currently works as the technical director for the Mercedes AMG F1 team.
  4. Recently, he revealed in a podcast the car had a major flaw in its aerodynamics which hurt the performance of the W13.

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Are Mercedes F1 in trouble 2022?

Skip to content What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says their huge performance swings in last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix show they are still suffering “non-correlation” between design and reality with their 2022 car. The team qualified poorly: Their top car was 1.8 seconds off the pace, set by Red Bull.

Although Lewis Hamilton and George Russell started fourth and fifth on the grid they were promoted from seventh and eighth by penalties for their rivals. However, while Hamilton retired following a first-lap collision, Russell climbed to fourth at the finish, closing on the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jnr over the final laps.

Wolff admitted the difficulty the team is having in understanding its car was hampering their development of the W13. He was unable to point out which part of the design needs to be looked at as a priority to increase the car’s performance, but conceded there could be a single shortcoming which is causing other problems.

  1. Today, we’re getting it wrong.
  2. The non-correlation in the various areas is causing us not performing,” he said.
  3. Now, maybe there is a single thing that overshadows everything, and therefore we are not doing it justice to question really every part of the car.
  4. Are the tyres something that we fundamentally don’t understand and actually all the rest is good? Or is the aero messing it up, or the mechanical balance? I think that is so difficult to dissect.

And that’s to the point of if you never lose, you learn.” Mercedes’ performance had been “totally sub-par” in qualifying but much more competitive in the race, Wolff admitted. ” beaten by the Alpines, Albon very strong, Valtteri right there, Norris probably.

Then in the race at times we go three seconds a lap faster. There’s big question marks about what’s going on. It’s not where we should be. We have the structure and the knowledge to understand a racing car, but we don’t with this one.” However Wolff said the team will continue to tackle their problems in the same way as before.

“I can tell you it’s fucking difficult, all these nice Instagram posts and everything we talked about for eight years, how we’re going to take this when you’re right in there in the dungeon, to stick to your principles and to your values, keep the spirit up and really continue to relentlessly seek to get better.
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Why is Mercedes bouncing so much F1?

The two words have generally been interchangeable when used by teams and drivers this year, but Vowles says they are not the same and are generated differently. Mercedes appeared to have go on top of its porpoising issue with the W13 at the Spanish Grand Prix, but Vowles says the problems are very much circuit specific, with the smoothness of the surface playing a key role.

The issue of bouncing was exacerbated by the bumpy Baku track surface, which caused extreme discomfort for the drivers, and especially Hamilton. The seven-time F1 world champion had a different set-up compared to his teammate, including an alternative rear suspension. “There is definitely a track by track element and it’s a function of how smooth the tarmac is and the layout of the circuit,” Vowles said in a Mercedes video.

“I would say Baku certainly of the circuits we’ve had so far is on the worse end of it and conversely Barcelona probably on the better end of it. “So, those two circuits definitely will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the package. But it’s also worth putting a little bit of time into explaining porpoising, bouncing, bottoming – three words possibly being spoken a lot with a little bit of association of being the same thing but they are not quite.” What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 George Russell, Mercedes W13 Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images Vowles noted that, as the Spanish GP indicated, the team has made progress on controlling porpoising. But in so doing, and thus being able to run the car lower, bouncing has become an issue.

“We definitely suffered porpoising in the earlier races and in Barcelona we didn’t,” he said. “And we’ve made a tremendous amount of effort on our package to make sure that we tried our best to resolve it, and I am confident we’ve made a step. “In Barcelona the car was stable, robust and we could lower it and that’s the key, we managed to create a package were aerodynamically we were able to work with it a lot more, we could work with set-up and we could drop the cars in terms of ride height producing performance.

“Come now to Monaco and to Baku, what that unfortunately uncovered is a second issue that was being masked by the first. I’m confident we’ve made a step forward in terms of porpoising, but we very clearly have bouncing, and to the outside it looks almost identical, but there is a subtle difference between the two.” Vowles said the bouncing is simply a function of the car striking the track: “What is happening now is that the car is lower, as a result of fixing the first issue, but now hitting the deck quite hard, and that’s creating the bouncing that you see at the moment.

  1. Again, you try and extract performance by running the car low but the problem is very different and the bumpier the track the more the input is clearly having an effect, which is what we saw in Baku.
  2. I think what’s clear is that we still have a long journey in front of us to learn everything we need to, to be fighting at the front but perhaps more importantly you will see performance variation track on track as we go forward.

Canada for sure will be very different to Silverstone in terms of how our car performs.” Vowles conceded that the team made life too difficult for its drivers in Baku, while confirming Hamilton will be fit and ready for this weekend’s race in Canada, despite Toto Wolff expressing concerns on Sunday night.

  1. I am pleased to report that Lewis is here this morning, I spent a few hours with him and he is okay, he will be back in the car in Montreal,” Vowles said.
  2. He is an elite athlete that will push the bounds of endurance of himself and the car and that’s what F1 drivers do, that’s what makes them exceptional.

“On this occasion, though we pushed the package and our drivers too far, we are putting them into significant discomfort and we simply can’t do that again. “Our drivers are not the only ones suffering, you will see in the media a number of comments from a number of drivers who are equally in discomfort and pain. What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, in Parc Ferme Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images The team was mystified by Hamilton’s “cold seat” comment in Baku, but having talked to his driver Vowles said it was a physical rather than mechanical issue. “What happened is, nothing really had changed in the car, it just looks like after the amount of pummelling his back had taken from the bouncing, he fundamentally had a numbness that set in and it looks like the cold was a response to that.

Red Bull has “no doubts” Ferrari will hit back after Baku double DNF What’s gone wrong for Mercedes since its Barcelona F1 breakthrough? Horner: Unfair to change F1 rules over porpoising complaints

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Will Mercedes F1 improve?

What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 Mercedes will roll out their final upgrade of the season at the United States Grand Prix as the team look for a performance boost through lighter parts. Mercedes’ W13 is reportedly one of the heaviest cars on this year’s grid, Toto Wolff saying they have not been able to introduce a host of lighter parts because of the budget ca p.

But nearing the end of the season, and presumably with a few bob still in hand, Mercedes will do just that at the Circuit of The Americas. According to trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin, the team have dropped the weight of some parts but did not go into detail. “It’s our final step of aero development and that will hopefully give us a bit more performance, but importantly, with every step, we are learning more and more and that learning we can carry into next year,” said Shovlin.

“So that’s part of it. Also, there are a few bits where we have taken some weight out of components that will hopefully get the car closer to the weight limit. It’s very difficult for us to predict where we will be.” Mercedes have yet to win a grand prix this season, the Brackley team 0-18. Shovlin says part of the problem is the W13’s single-lap pace. While the car has pace over a race distance, they are struggling to achieve the best starting positions on a Saturday. “In Singapore, Lewis was awfully close to pole position, yet in Suzuka both cars had a big gap to the front,” he continued.

Now our race pace has been reasonably strong, so if we can make a step, hopefully we can get into the fight with the Ferraris and Red Bulls. “But qualifying for us is the really difficult one to predict at the moment. “As I said, a lot of it is about learning and we will certainly give it our best shot in the final four races.” This year’s race at the Circuit of The Americas will be the 10th time Formula 1 has visited the Texan track, Mercedes having won five of nine races.

But with its bumps and tyre degradation, Shovlin admits it will be a “tricky” weekend for Mercedes. “It’s a tricky circuit and it was a tricky circuit for us last year,” he said. “It was very bumpy, there was a lot of overheating from the tyres and we weren’t performing as well as Red Bull were on the softer tyres.
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Will Mercedes F1 get better?

What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 Mercedes has struggled all season with the W13, notably with porpoising and ride issues, and the car has only really shone at high-downforce venues. Russell says that the team has chosen a specific philosophy for next year’s W14, and has clear targets that it will try to meet.

“I’m confident that the direction we need to take is the correct one,” he said. “We have a philosophy that we’re going to be trying to adopt in our development, and I’m very confident that is the correct one. “But equally, it doesn’t mean that we can necessarily achieve it. We have a target, and that is a massive positive in itself.

As I said, we have a clear target we’re trying to chase. “Now, can we achieve that? I have every confidence that we can. We obviously don’t know how much the other rivals are going to improve over this winter. “But I definitely have confidence that we will have a more complete car across the circuit ranges into 2023.” Russell insisted that his confidence is inspired by the numbers that Mercedes is working with. What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 George Russell, Mercedes W13 Photo by: Alessio Morgese “And I think we’ve managed to get quite a grasp on that, and understand why at certain circuits we were so much more competitive than others. We’ve only managed to learn that over the course of these races.

“That triple-header after the summer break was quite telling for us, with our performance swings between the low downforce and the high downforce circuits. Asked by Autosport to expand on the philosophy that Mercedes is pursuing for 2023, he said: “I don’t want to go into too much detail, because it’s something that we worked very hard on to understand, and hopefully will give us an advantage into next year.

“So I don’t want to say anything that will potentially benefit our rivals. “But at the end of the day, every single car is different. I have to say, I’ve mentioned a couple of times this year that I feel like we’ve understood our car, and we’re on the right track, but we have been set back with a couple of oddities that we weren’t expecting.

But I think we’ve had enough races now that we’ve gone through so many different scenarios that I can’t really imagine there’s going to be another one that catches us by surprise. “We’ve had the porpoising issues, we’ve had the ride issues, we’ve had the car touching the ground and damaging the floor issue.

“We’ve had so many different issues, and we believe now that we’ve got a direction that we need to head in. Hopefully, the lap time can come with it.” Read Also:

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Why are the 2022 F1 cars bouncing?

F1 Plans To Clamp Down on Bouncing Beginning With French Grand Prix ATPImages Getty Images

  • Formula 1’s governing body has acted to limit the amount that cars can bounce.
  • The phenomenon has featured in Formula 1 this year after overhauled technical regulations were introduced into the sport.
  • Porpoising has arisen due to the ground effect, which has returned this year, whereby airflow beneath the intricate bodywork is disrupted, causing the cars to bounce up and down.
  • There is also a separate bouncing caused by the floors of the cars hitting the track due to the set-up window in which it is optimum for teams to run.
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The FIA acted following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after several drivers raised potential long-term safety worries. Several were concerned over the potential for while Lewis Hamilton revealed at the following event that he had been subject to hits of up to 10-g.

  1. A technical directive was issued prior to the event in Canada which outlined that measurements would be taken in a bid to limit the porpoising—officially known as vertical oscillation—in the interests of safety.
  2. This analysis has now been concluded by the FIA and a metric has been defined by which this vertical oscillation will be monitored.
  3. Formula 1’s teams have been informed and the technical directive will become effective from the French Grand Prix onward, giving the affected teams two events in which to make changes.
  4. The updated TD also outlines updated parameters relating to plank wear and skid stiffness, related to the same issue, with the changes deemed necessary in order to provide a level playing field when the new metric is implemented.

: F1 Plans To Clamp Down on Bouncing Beginning With French Grand Prix
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Why is the f1 2022 car slower?

Analysis: The 2022 cars are slower, but at the same time, quicker Formula 1 returned to action this week with the opening day of the unofficial pre-season test – the official pre-season test takes place in Bahrain, for some reason, and will be televised, unlike this week’s track action at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Thankfully media are still allowed to attend the test, even if fans aren’t. So we were able to witness in person just how dramatic these new 2022 Formula 1 cars are. Unfortunately you can’t read too much into testing, especially not the timesheet – if you bet on that order you’re almost guaranteed to lose.

The only indicator on the timesheet that provides some insight is the amount of laps a team completes during the day. Day 1 saw not a single red or yellow flag, which is almost unheard of, especially when the sport undergoes a radical technical overhaul, which it just has.

Perhaps teams just weren’t pushing hard enough.? Saying that, Alfa Romeo hit a few bumps on Wednesday as reserve driver Robert Kubica only managed nine laps in the morning, whilst Valtteri Bottas could only muster 23 for a total of 32. Alfa Romeo, along with Haas, which achieved just 43, claim it was just opening day hiccups, but the remaining eight teams looked bulletproof.

Red Bull, with champion Max Verstappen behind the wheel completed 147 laps. In fact all eight teams easily surpassed the 100-lap mark. Ferrari completed the most, 153, with running split between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. That doesn’t tell us who is quicker though and nor does the timesheet as teams run to set programmes, cycling through various fuel loads, engine modes and tyre compounds.

To gain some insight into the pecking order, one must head trackside and witness the cars up close as they navigate the Barcelona circuit. We did just that, first standing at the slow final chicane (Turns 14/15) where the cars look almost stationary. Making comparisons to last years cars is difficult when you last saw them navigate this chicane some nine months ago, but they are notably slower.

This was to be expected. The 2022 cars are heavier, mainly thanks to the larger Pirelli tyres which not only add weight, but have also changed the entire suspension set-up. Previously cars relied heavily on the large tyre shoulder to absorb the bumps and kerbs, but with these new low-profile tyres, that is now solely the job of the suspension which means aggressively attacking the kerbs isn’t the best option.

  • However it’s not all bad news.
  • F1 expected these new cars to be around 2.5s/lap slower than their predecessors with the downforce slashed.
  • But that doesn’t look likely.
  • The teams themselves reckon by mid-season they will be just as quick as 2021.
  • The cars are making up lap time elsewhere on the track.
  • Standing at the end of the pit lane, where cars brake from 320kph down to just 165kph in a matter of metres, it’s obvious they are quicker in a straight line, yet they’re still braking in the same spot.

That’s because they are running much larger brake discs which are not only counteracting the heavier weight of the cars, but also slowing the cars more quickly. The move to ground-effect downforce, which produces little drag, rather than downforce generated by very draggy wings, is allowing for greater top speeds, which can be carried through long, sweeping high-speed corners.

  1. This was again evident at Turn 2, 3 and 9.
  2. We can’t say at this moment in time which cars looked the most planted, we didn’t get the chance to witness them all, but we can safely say they remain very impressive machines.
  3. Something else of note was the fact cars were seen following one another closely.

Again it’s too early to say whether the new rules have had their intended effect, by allowing cars to follow closely without losing downforce, but the first signs appear bright as they were noticeably able to remain close through corners with little sliding.

# Driver Team Time Laps
1 L. Norris McLaren 1:19.568 103
2 C. Leclerc Ferrari 1:20.165 80
3 C. Sainz Ferrari 1:20.416 73
4 G. Russell Mercedes 1:20.784 77
5 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.929 50
6 S. Vettel Aston Martin 1:21.276 52
7 Y. Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:21.638 121
8 F. Alonso Alpine 1.21.746 127
9 M. Verstappen Red Bull 1:22.246 147
10 V. Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:22.572 23
11 A. Albon Williams 1:22.760 66
12 M. Schumacher Haas 1:22.962 23
13 L. Stroll Aston Martin 1:23.327 67
14 N. Latifi Williams 1:23.379 66
15 N. Mazepin Haas 1:24.505 20
16 R. Kubica Alfa Romeo 1:25.909 9

Analysis: The 2022 cars are slower, but at the same time, quicker
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Is F1 biased to Mercedes?

Horner: FIA order on floor stay ‘overtly biased’ to Mercedes

  • Red Bull Formula 1 boss Christian Horner says the FIA’s decision to allow teams to run secondary floor stays is “overtly biased to sorting one team’s problems out”, in a thinly-veiled dig at Mercedes.
  • Permitting secondary floor stays is one of the short-term measures issued ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.
  • The late notice of the FIA technical directive suggested no team would be able to react in time to have a second stay on the car in Montreal, but Mercedes tried – it experimented with one on George Russell’s car in FP1 and Lewis Hamilton’s as well in FP2.
  • Mercedes was the only team to even try to run a second stay in Canada, so it was clear which team Horner was referring to.
  • “What was particularly disappointing was the second stay because that has to be discussed in a technical forum,” said Horner.
  • “And that is overtly biased to sorting one team’s problems out, which were the only team that turned up here with it even in advance of the TD.
  • “So, work that one out.”
  • Mercedes’s car was porpoising badly in the opening races but now, having cured the worst of that problem, it is bottoming out.
  • Its driver George Russell, a director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, has led calls for the FIA to intervene and do something to change the rules, on the grounds that drivers cannot sustain this physical toll for several seasons.

What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1

  1. That stance has been backed up by team-mate Lewis Hamilton and team principal Toto Wolff, but some see this as nothing more than Mercedes trying to use the issue to get a rule change that will help it address the performance deficit it currently suffers from.
  2. “The issue with Mercedes is more severe than any other car,” said Horner.
  3. “That surely is down to the team, that’s within their control to deal with that.

“It’s not affecting others. I know they’ve said that other drivers have been complaining, our drivers have never complained ever about porpoising.

  • “Certainly, we haven’t had an issue with bouncing.”
  • Horner keeps insisting this is not a wider issue with the regulations but a conceptual issue for teams such as Mercedes and therefore it’s down to them to deal with it, not the FIA.
  • He believes teams just need to be left alone and if the FIA really feels any car looks unsafe, it could just disqualify them.

What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 “You can’t just suddenly change technical regulations halfway through a season,” said Horner. “If a car is dangerous, a team shouldn’t field it. It has that choice.

  1. “Or the FIA if they feel an individual car is dangerous they always have a black flag at their disposal.”
  2. There is a clear divide between Mercedes and its two main rivals over this issue.
  3. Ferrari and Red Bull are loath to see any significant in-season changes because it could have a tangible impact on their title battle.
  4. If the bouncing limit is enforced and Ferrari is still aggressively porpoising, it could be made to increase its car’s ride height and lose performance – which could end its championship hopes.
  5. But if there is a wider, universal rule change – which Mercedes seems to be keen on – then Red Bull could find itself having to make car or set-up adjustments for a problem it’s not suffering from.
  6. The matter was discussed at a meeting of team bosses on Saturday morning, where Wolff is said to have made with the situation very clear.
  7. That was something Horner couldn’t resist having a pop at, saying: “I think there was an element of theatre going on in that meeting.
  8. “Maybe with Lewis’s new movie coming along he ‘s getting a role for it.”

: Horner: FIA order on floor stay ‘overtly biased’ to Mercedes
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Will Mercedes fix porpoising?

Mercedes believes it has solved its main porpoising problems in Formula 1, and instead its issues are now caused by how stiff and low it needs to run its car.
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Why is Lewis Hamilton’s car bouncing?

Hamilton reveals why he was bouncing more than Russell in Baku Lewis Hamilton says he was running an experimental part on his Mercedes W13 for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, resulting in him bouncing more severely than teammate George Russell. The seven-time World Champion ended the race in fourth, just behind his younger colleague following a race in which he complained of severe back pain.

That pain was caused by his car bouncing as an experimental part failed to deliver results. He was not alone, however, with support among drivers said to be growing for the FIA to find a fix for the bouncing problems. “That was the most painful race I have experienced, the toughest race,” he told media in Baku, including RacingNews365.com,

“George didn’t have the same bouncing that I had, he had a lot less bouncing. I had an experimental part on the car and a different rear suspension. “Ultimately, it was the wrong one.” Hamilton thinks that the severe bouncing is a safety concern, and has suggested that he came close on multiple occasions to losing control of his car down Baku’s long straight.

“At 180 miles per hour, smashing into the wall, I don’t think I’ve really ever had to think about that too much as a racing driver.”Hamilton believes that the promuse of the W13 will be difficult to unlock if a solution cannot be found for the bouncing issue.”There is so much potential in this car but we can’t unlock it at all until we stop this bouncing,” the Briton added, before admitting: “I’d do anything to avoid having that,”

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth are joined by Julien Simon-Chautemps as they question how concerned Ferrari should be after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. : Hamilton reveals why he was bouncing more than Russell in Baku
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Why are F1 cars porpoising now?

What is porpoising? – Right, in the simplest terms, porpoising is an aerodynamic phenomenon that F1 cars have started to suffer from since the adoption of the so-called ‘ground effect’ philosophy, where air is sucked underneath a car to pull it down onto the track at high speed, rather than over the top of the car to push it down.

  • With us so far? The trouble is, the faster you go, the further a car wants to be sucked to the floor.
  • And if it gets too close it can cause the airflow to stop – or ‘stall’ – meaning the downforce created suddenly drops off a cliff.
  • At that point, the cars spring upwards.
  • Once the car’s floor is clear of the ground however, the flow of air kicks in again and the car is sucked downwards once more.

This aggressive bouncing is porpoising.
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Will Mercedes be better in 2023?

The clues Mercedes will abandon unique F1 sidepods for 2023

  • The Mercedes Formula 1 team has been out on its own with the zero-sidepod concept that generated so much interest early in the 2022 season.
  • But with the team turning its attention fully to 2023 as its final upgrade for this year’s troubled W13 appears at the United States Grand Prix this weekend, the question remains: will Mercedes abandon the design it has been alone in pursuing for this year, and follow the trend for bigger sidepods that everyone else either started with or has gravitated towards during the first year of F1’s new rules?
  • The team doesn’t want to give too much away on that front, but the clues are building up.
  • Mercedes turned heads when its heavily updated car arrived in Bahrain for the second pre-season test, and it looked like the team had forgotten to put the sidepods on.
  • This looked like the latest evolution in the ‘size zero’ packaging that had become a common trend for F1 designers to chase over the last decade, as it allowed more airflow to travel down the side of the car and inside the rear wheels into the coke bottle area.
  • By the end of the previous regulations cycle in 2021, every team on the grid was trying to make the sidepods as narrow as possible, giving a shrink-wrapped effect to the bodywork.

What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 Mercedes had taken that to the next level for the start of the new rules in 2022, and had crucially found a way to get around the restrictions on the shrinking of the front of the sidepods with a clever interpretation of how the mandatory side impact structures had to be incorporated into the car.

Technical director Mike Elliott recently admitted on F1’s own podcast that when Mercedes discovered this loophole, another group within the design team then worked on it to see if they could “shoot it down” – which is a regular practice within the team when a new idea is found, with the group trying to sense-check the idea “generally run by our chief designer”.

Once Mercedes committed to the sidepod concept, it also had to show it to the FIA. Elliott said the governing body’s reaction was along the lines of “that’s not what we intended”, but after the FIA’s technical department took a closer look to see if it could legally challenge it, the design was considered legal.

  1. Mercedes spent the winter thinking “‘has anybody else spotted it, is someone else going to turn up with it?'” according to Elliott, but perhaps he needn’t have worried.
  2. In fact, when Red Bull’s design genius that he “didn’t see the Mercedes sidepod solution coming”, maybe that should have set alarm bells ringing – rather than sounding like a badge of honour for the Mercedes design team to have outwitted one of F1’s greatest ever technical minds.

And those alarm bells should have kept ringing. The only two other teams on the grid who initially went in a different direction to the bigger, longer sidepods that came back into fashion this year were Williams and McLaren. And over the course of this season, both have introduced updates that have abandoned their slimmer designs to go down the bulky route. What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 We’ve also seen teams that started the year with varying approaches to the bigger sidepods make further significant developments in this area while keeping the core concept. So it seems unlikely that everyone is just keeping quiet about their super-secret zero-sidepods for 2023.

  1. Even if the other teams couldn’t copy the Mercedes concept until next year for fundamental reasons of car layout, those teams wouldn’t have put in the amount of effort they have into refining the bigger sidepods if they were going to abandon them next year.
  2. If no other team thinks the skinny sidepods are worth doing, at what point does Mercedes have to ask itself if it’s being really clever or really naive to remain out on its own following a different path?
  3. During his recent appearance on F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, Elliott also revealed that he can point to the specific moment during the car design process late in 2021 when Mercedes made an error.
  4. He wouldn’t elaborate on what that mistake was, but he said it’s responsible for Mercedes’ disappointing performance in 2022, and the fluctuating form we’ve seen across different types of track this year – something Mercedes has described as mood swings.
  5. Of the information we’ve been able to uncover about this mistake, it seems that Mercedes was faced with a fork in the road on its development direction during the process of creating the W13.

It went one way, and it now believes it would have been much better off going the other way. All we know about that decision is that it was an aerodynamic one, rather than any other part of the car design. All Elliott will say on the record about the mistake is that Mercedes has “known about it for a while” and it has spent most of this year trying to correct that error and undo the damage it caused. What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 That process was massively disrupted by the aggressive porpoising problems Mercedes encountered earlier this year. The team had to direct so much effort towards fixing that alarming issue, that it wasn’t able to devote as much of its time in the first part of the year towards tackling the fundamental problems limiting the car’s performance. What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 By then a lot of the damage was done, and there was a growing acceptance that completely solving the car’s weaknesses this year was unlikely. Elliot has said Mercedes will have to wait until the winter to fully correct it for the 2023 car. Whatever that problem is, at least a portion of it is baked-in to the 2022 car.

Like the sidepods, perhaps? Our understanding is that it’s not quite that straightforward. But the clues our F1 journalists have picked up suggest the characteristics of the car that are linked to the skinny sidepods could be a factor. One of the big problems Mercedes has been unable to fix on this car is related to the exposed floor.

Having so much of the floor unsupported and sticking out from the side of the car can cause it to act like a cantilever. What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1

  • This affects how the floor moves and behaves, which impacts how air is being fed under the car at the throat of the floor – which is more crucial than ever with 2022’s ground effect rules.
  • If this airflow stalls, as we believe can be the case on the Mercedes, then it will shed heaps of performance.
  • We also understand that Mercedes committed to a rear suspension design that was based around getting the most out of this floor concept, and having such a key part of the mechanical platform of the car locked in could be the main thing that Mercedes can’t fix until next year.
  • That, plus how the team packaged the internals of its car to create the size-zero design, could be limiting factors that would have prevented Mercedes switching to bulkier sidepods in the same way McLaren and Williams have.
  • And just for clarity, none of this is to suggest that Mercedes would have been better off with the bigger launch-spec sidepods it ran at the first test in Barcelona this year.

What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1

  1. They were just an unrefined version of what it has now, so we believe the team when it says the slimmer spec is better than the first version we saw.
  2. In public, Mercedes has insisted all year that its sidepods are a red herring when it comes to identifying the cause of its drop-off in form.
  3. The team remains convinced that the performance it’s missing this year is coming from other parts of the car, and that any losses or gains from the sidepods are minimal.

Elliott believes claims about Mercedes’ car being so different to everyone else’s meaning it must work differently are wide of the mark. Mercedes thinks it’s not a “massive departure” from what everyone else is doing, and it’s still saying that the sidepod idea no one else has pursued is adding performance. Only a little bit, but performance nonetheless.

  • “When you look at the sidepod, people say ‘it looks very different, that must work completely different to the rest of the cars’, and it doesn’t, it’s just a slightly different solution,” said Elliott.
  • “Aerodynamically I don’t think it’s a massive departure from the other cars, it’s just something that adds a little bit of performance for us.”
  • But is there more performance available by going down a similar route to everyone else, and particularly in redesigning the other limiting factors of the W13 to suit that concept properly for next year’s W14?

Eliott says that the only way Mercedes could get that answer would be to run simultaneous development programmes on both routes. Perhaps that’s not feasible under the restrictions of F1’s budget cap, or perhaps Mercedes has done just that behind the scenes, and it doesn’t want to tell us – which would be completely understandable.

Mercedes remains convinced that the sidepods are not a “game changer”, with Elliott insisting that tackling its problems is less about the shape of the car, and more about the way the team approaches its development. But we understand that Mercedes is indeed open to switching to bigger sidepods next year.

To quote a favoured Toto Wolff line – there are no sacred cows in that team, so we can expect that pride or a desire to be different won’t get in the way, and the sidepods will change if they need to. What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 The 2023 Mercedes will almost certainly be a better car than the troubled 2022 version – and whether it’s a coincidence or not, we strongly suspect it’ll look very different on the surface too. Given the clues we’ve seen, we wouldn’t be surprised at all if the 2023 Mercedes arrives in Bahrain for pre-season testing with sidepods that bring it into line with the rest of the grid, and this year’s super-skinny design is consigned to the scrapheap as the latest clever technical innovation that didn’t work out.
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Can Mercedes make a comeback?

Wolff downplays Mercedes 2023 F1 chances of comeback

  • Toto Wolff believes Red Bull will still be Formula 1 title favourites in 2023, despite his Mercedes squad’s efforts to catch up.
  • Having won the last eight Constructors’ Championships and seven of the Drivers’ crowns in that period, Mercedes will be defeated in both in 2022.
  • Max Verstappen has already wrapped up the Drivers’, with Red Bull set to take their first title since 2013 should they out-score Ferrari by 17 points in the United States Grand Prix.
  • Mercedes fumbled its car design, with the W13 being prone to porpoising, a lack of power and high drag.
  • It means for the first time since 2011, Mercedes are facing a winless season in F1 – and the first of his entire career for lead driver Lewis Hamilton.
  • The team are aware of a fundamental problem with the W13 which cannot be fixed in-season, so with attention turning to the W14 for 2023, Wolff still believes Red Bull will be favourites.
  1. “Obviously, we have missed a lot of development time to find out about bouncing and purposing and all these things,” Wolff explained in an interview with Channel 4.
  2. “So it’s clear that Red Bull in a very favourable position, not only for this year, but also for the start of next year.
  3. “But having said that, if we were to continue our understanding and development of the car, I think we can catch up quickly.
  4. “And this is a ‘learning on the job’ exercise at the moment.
  5. “Our simulations don’t always give us the right results, to what the car is going to do on track, but that’s what makes it interesting.”

With the end coming for Mercedes’ period of dominance, Wolff is sanguine about it, simply believing the team did not do a good job with the new ground-effect regulations. “We’ve talked about over the last few years every series ends one day, there is no team that is winning every single championship over its lifetime.

  • “What we got wrong was just how the car works, but that gives us confidence to sort it out.
  • “In terms of losing, I think it’s important to acknowledge that we just haven’t just we haven’t done a good enough job, and the guys over in Milton Keynes and Maranello have done.
  • “Ferrari, in my opinion was until the summer break the quickest car, but they haven’t been able to translate that into points.
  • “We are third on the road, it’s not misery, it’s still respectable, because we could have come out further back.
  • “But now we just we just need to sort it out.
  • “We are eager to be part of the very front fighting for race wins, and fighting for a championship.
  • “There is no sense of entitlement for us to win every single championship because that would be foolish.”

What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 © XPBimages RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key issues from the Japanese Grand Prix, including Max Verstappen’s dominant run to his second World Championship, and whether F1’s current system of awarding points in shortened races needs tweaking. : Wolff downplays Mercedes 2023 F1 chances of comeback
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Will Mercedes be back 2023?

What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 Mercedes has just three races left to avoid its first winless season in 11 years after struggling to take the fight to Red Bull and Ferrari under the revised technical regulations for 2022. But the team has made decent progress over the season to get closer to the front runners.

Lewis Hamilton came close to victory in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, aided in part by the final upgrade package of the season for the W13 car. He finished the race second after losing the lead with seven laps remaining. Mercedes has made clear that the update work it is doing late in the season is intended to help the direction of its car for 2023, which was set to change after finding issues with this year’s concept.

“The DNA of the car is going to change for next year, that’s clear,” said Wolff. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that our bodywork is going to look very different. But certainly what is part of the DNA of the car, the architecture of the car, will change for next year.” Mercedes struggled in the early part of the season with a bouncing problem on the W13 car, only to find a deeper issue that was baked into the design following its first major upgrade at the Spanish Grand Prix in May. What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, George Russell, Mercedes W13 Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images Hamilton said after the race that he thought Mercedes had taken a step in the right direction but noted Verstappen’s advantage on the straights. “I think, under DRS they’re like 35 km/h faster than us,” he said.

“If we’re behind them, we’re like, 22k faster, I think it is, with DRS on the back straight. So he came from a long, long way back. “But even without the DRS, I think they’re still something like 8 km/h up on us, so we’ve got a lot of time being lost on the straight, probably four-tenths at least a lap.

And so we’ve got some improvements to make for next year’s car.” Read Also:

Alonso: US GP protest decision will dictate if F1 is heading in “right direction” The two reasons why Hamilton lost the United States GP Red Bull’s F1 straight-line advantage is “good protection”, says Ferrari

Mercedes will benefit from increased wind tunnel time for aerodynamic development in 2023 after Red Bull clinched the constructors’ championship on Sunday. Should Mercedes remain third in the standings come the end of the season, it would have 14% more wind tunnel running than Red Bull next year – something Wolff felt could offer a decent step.

“From that point, it was a significant disadvantage so far because all of 2021, we were the leading team and then we won the constructors’ championship,” he explained. “So all of the first half of 2022 we had 7% less wind tunnel time than the 18 months before of Red Bull and much less than Ferrari. Now it swings the other way around.

“Compared to Red Bull, we’re going to have 14% more if we finish third, so that over time is exactly what the regulations were designed for, to give us the potential to eke the advantage out, to claw it back.” Bet here Bet now 18+, UK residents only, T&Cs Apply, Gamble Responsibly Bet here Bet now 18+, UK residents only, T&Cs Apply, Gamble Responsibly shares comments Manage
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Is Mercedes F1 car fixed?

Russell confident Mercedes have ‘fixed’ car: It was capable of winning

  • George Russell feels that Mercedes had their “normal pace” back at the Singapore Grand Prix, so much so that he believes the car was capable of winning.
  • The Briton faced a tough evening at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, having started from the pit lane after taking on new power unit elements ahead of the race.
  • Russell made steady progress through the field before being involved in an incident with the Haas of Mick Schumacher, and he eventually finished down in 14th, while teammate Lewis Hamilton ended the day in P9.
  • Though events may have gone against them in Singapore, Russell was pleased to see the progress that the team have made.

“Firstly, confidence restored that we fixed the car today,” Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com, after the race. “Our normal pace was back, and we definitely had a car this weekend that was capable of winning. So that’s one thing ticked off, let’s say.” Both Russell and Hamilton faced various obstacles during the weekend in Singapore, and Russell thinks that he could potentially have finished further up the field had it not been for his run-in with Schumacher.

“It’s just a bit of a shame how this weekend has unfolded,” the Silver Arrows driver said. “We were very, very fast today. I think, had it not been for that incident with Mick, we would have finished inside the top 10, definitely. ” not too sure what happened there, but it’s just the way Formula 1 goes sometimes.

We’ve had such a great run of form and, as a team, I feel like we’ve been pretty flawless all season. “But obviously today, and all this weekend, gone against us.”

  1. With changing track conditions in the race following earlier rainfall, Russell took an early gamble to switch from Intermediate tyres to slicks.
  2. While he admits that the decision did not pay off initially, the 24-year-old remains confident in Mercedes’ progress.
  3. “I was asking to pit for a new set of Inters,” Russell explained.

“In that situation, I trust the team, the team trust me. They thought it was time to go on slicks and try something. “Obviously, at the time, it was totally the wrong decision, but it did pay dividends later down the line, because when we had that Safety Car at the restart, I overtook three cars in one lap, and was up to P11 before that incident with Mick.
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Why is Honda moving out of F1?

New Red Bull deal makes Honda’s F1 ‘exit’ even more confusing Honda agreeing a deal to strengthen its ties to the two Red Bull Formula 1 teams fewer than 12 months since it technically quit the championship makes for an extremely confusing look. Since officially leaving F1 at the end of 2021, Honda has effectively been a contractor for Red Bull.

  1. Its only recognition this year in what is set to be a double Red Bull championship triumph is a small HRC sticker at the back of the engine cover, while the engines (which Honda designed, developed, assembles and maintains) run under another company’s name.
  2. At least from the Japanese Grand Prix, Honda will get a bit more credit.

From the Suzuka weekend Red Bull and AlphaTauri will on the nosecone instead of the engine cover. This is to make room for the return of the classic Honda logo bearing the name itself, which hasn’t been seen on an F1 car since the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 It is effectively a fast-tracked version of the revised branding deal we were expecting to happen for 2023. It will run until the end of 2025, and gives Honda a touch more prominence again. It may also come to serve as a soft ‘re-entry’ to F1 ahead of a brand new project for 2026.

  • Which all adds up to a baffling look for Honda.
  • In October 2020 it announced it would quit F1.
  • In December 2021 it officially left.
  • Now, in October 2022, it’s done a deal to put its stickers back on the cars using its engine.
  • Nobody’s really noticed Honda’s absence since the end of the 2021 season because as far as most people are concerned, Honda’s not really left.

It has stepped back, that much is certain. It might not be that obvious on the outside but the number of ‘Honda people’ in the paddock is vastly reduced, the corporate hospitality is gone, and only the core embedded personnel within the teams on the engineering side remain. What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 But however Honda might want to justify its decision to walk away, and insist it has left F1, the decision made in 2020 looks more short-sighted and foolish by the minute. The result is Honda slowly undoing its own exit strategy over the last 18 months or so.

A change in CEO in April 2021 – Takahiro Hachigo out, Toshihiro Mibe in – might have something to do with Honda’s subsequent actions going directly against the decision that was announced in late-2020: from the generous continuation project to the new branding deal announced this week to the discussions over a new 2026 engine partnership with Red Bull entirely.

Post-Hachigo Honda seems to regret two things. First, the decision to walk away in the first place. Because it now looks like an increasingly rash move that was done to create an image of slashing costs and insist the company was focused on a future fuelled by sustainable technologies.

  • The second thing Honda must regret is the continuation deal it did with Red Bull, whereby Honda gave up everything for no reward and even let the engine be renamed after Red Bull Powertrains.
  • If it didn’t, why bother with putting not just an extra sticker on the car – but one with the actual Honda name? Chaotically amusing as it looks when the timeline is laid out in full, the U-turn we seem to be witnessing in slow-motion is not a particularly surprising development.

Honda’s racing division never wanted to leave. The massive development effort that went into the 2021 engine once the racing division knew what was coming ensured Honda went out in a blaze of glory. And F1 is in the midst of a great boom. Yet Honda was forced to walk away as planned to honour a decision made in haste, early in the COVID-19 pandemic, by a different CEO. What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 Honda re-entered F1 in 2015 to recreate the 1988-1991 McLaren glory years. OK, the plan failed with McLaren, but had Honda shown anything like the patience and commitment of F1’s other manufacturers, it would have won multiple titles with Red Bull. Instead it’s been reduced to an invisible partner, a status that clearly Honda realised is simply illogical to maintain.
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How did Mercedes solve porpoising?

Mercedes’ Porpoising Issues Solved? – What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 In the past, prominent Mercedes drivers have complained about the company’s cars’ porpoising problems. Lewis Hamilton has said that the cars often cause physical pain, and George Russell has backed up these claims. The complaints came to a point, where the FIA had to intervene.

  1. The company has put in quite a bit of effort into ending these problems.
  2. During the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, the Mercedes team was acting more competitive than any other event in the past year.
  3. The team’s boss, Toto Wolff, revealed that the reason for this, is because the porpoising issues were all but eradicated.

By lowering the height of the car, the bouncing motions have been decreased, making the cars a lot safer, and the drivers a lot more comfortable. Of course, this has also brought up other issues. Among them is the car’s bottom grazing the ground during the bumpier courses.
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Why does Honda want out of F1?

That’s partly because the rate of Honda’s progress since it teamed up with Red Bull has been incredible, including a huge leap for this season, despite cost-cutting rules introduced due to the pandemic limiting the scope of potential development. Revisions to F1’s chassis rules might have contributed to Mercedes-AMG losing some of its edge, but don’t discount the steps that Red Bull and Honda have taken. “We introduced a completely new philosophy for the powertrain this season, and we’ve been learning more how to use it with every race this season,” says Tanabe. “We’re limited in terms of what changes we can do to the hardware, but we’ve been able to keep improving the management of the unit.” In hindsight, Honda was always going to struggle as a late entrant into the V6 turbo hybrid era, especially with opaque rules in place at the time about how much development work manufacturers could do each off-season.

There were ‘tokens’ that limited how many parts a firm could replace, which both stymied Honda’s attempts to catch up to its rivals and added to the complexity of trying to best manage the power delivery from frighteningly complex powertrains that mated a petrol engine with two differing electric hybrid motors.

And by supplying just a single team, the firm also didn’t have as much data as rivals to guide its improvement. “We had a very hard time when we entered F1,” reflects Tanabe. “We had a lot of issues with the programme. But we learned a lot in those years.” Supplying both Red Bull-owned teams has been vital to Honda’s progress in the past few seasons, with the operations pushing each other to perform.

“We work together with a very open mind,” says Tanabe. “We’re both aiming to win a race and then a championship, and to do that means improving our performance. They don’t tell us how to do it, they ask what we want to do.” The person who has most appreciated Honda’s progress over the past year is Verstappen.

“The power unit doesn’t necessarily drive very differently from the first Honda unit that I drove; it just has more power,” says the Dutchman. “And it’s more reliable. You always try to improve every single aspect of a car – whether it’s the chassis, engine or driver – every year. Verstappen is coy on whether the Honda is now the best power unit on the grid (“it’s difficult to determine the best, but I’m very happy with what we have this year”), but he does praise the firm’s engineers. “I really enjoy working with them,” he says. After withdrawing following 1992, Honda kept an interest in the sport through the works-blessed Mugen-Honda operation, before returning again as a full constructor in 2000 to supply BAR, eventually buying the team ahead of the 2005 season. But that costly enterprise yielded a single win: Jenson Button’s unlikely opportunistic success in Hungary in 2006.

  • After that, it struggled to develop its package and slipped further down the grid.
  • After a desultory 2008 season running an underdeveloped machine with an odd ‘earth dreams’ livery (an early car-maker nod to promoting sustainability), Honda’s management pulled the plug.
  • That was despite the firm having already sunk millions into development of a 2009 challenger for F1’s new aero rules.

Honda then helped tech chief Ross Brawn take control of the outfit, and the rebranded Brawn GP won both titles using a car that Honda had paid to develop and powered by Mercedes customer engines. It’s some irony that Mercedes would eventually buy that squad and grow it into the dominant outfit that Red Bull-Honda is now aiming to topple. But that peripatetic participation is best explained by why Honda keeps returning to F1. The sport may be the lifeblood of ever-present Ferrari and good marketing and a profitable business venture for the likes of Mercedes, but for Honda it has always been about engineering.

It has been most successful when its participation is driven by a need to develop and showcase technology: think turbochargers in the 1980s and hybrids more recently. That’s most likely why Honda resisted the route Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari have gone down in becoming a full constructor for its recent stint in F1: its focus was only ever on learning engine technology.

And yes, the firm does insist that there are tangible links – in philosophy, if not direct technology transfer – between the hybrid powertrain found in Verstappen’s Red Bull and the one in your granny’s Jazz. That’s why, despite Honda quitting to focus on EV development, Tanabe still believes the sport is right to focus on hybrid powertrains.

“You see many hybrid EVs in the market,” he says. “The hybrid system in F1 is very complicated, and it’s been very interesting for us to learn how to best manage it, and to improve efficiency. To gain the knowledge required to build the hardware and then manage it properly has been very difficult, and we’ve learned a lot from it.

Obviously for a road car, the usage is completely different, but the philosophies are the same.” The reasons for Honda’s withdrawal clearly aren’t all they appear, with the desire to cut costs and a marketing impetus to embrace a net-zero future probably as important as the wish to focus resources on future EVs; Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault seem quite capable of doing that while remaining in F1.

But Honda’s withdrawal served as a wake-up call to the sport. In an era when car makers are out to prove their green credentials, it’s hard to justify racing high-powered petrol-engined single-seaters. That explains why F1 has begun to embrace synthetic fuels (e-fuels) as a potential option to cut emissions while retaining petrol engines – and why such moves have become more urgent since Honda’s announcement.

Ironically, then, just as Honda’s exit in 2009 would indirectly pave the way for Mercedes’ dominance, so its withdrawal in 2021 could spark a push to e-fuels that draws Porsche (or another Volkswagen Group brand) into the sport – possibly supplying Red Bull. That’s unlikely to happen until F1’s new powertrain rules are introduced. In the interim period, Red Bull has found an ideal replacement to Honda power units: Honda power units. The company has bought up Honda’s Milton Keynes-based operation to become an engine constructor in its own right, albeit with the assistance of Honda engineers for next season.

  • Which makes you wonder: when Honda quit after 2008, the chassis that it funded, developed and built won the following year’s title.
  • So after Honda quits in 2021, could a powertrain that it largely funded, developed and built win the 2022 title? Based on Verstappen and Red Bull’s current form, you can’t dismiss that possibility.

Nor, to be honest, could you dismiss the prospect of Honda eventually returning to F1. Its imminent future may be focused on EV road cars, but beyond that, when the sport has a technology that Honda needs to invest in, you get the feeling that it will be back. Had history turned out differently, it’s possible that a Verstappen would have been racing in F1 for a works Honda team 20 years before the firm supplied Max’s Red Bull. In 1998, Honda strongly began to consider returning to F1 as a full constructor and hired ace technical chief Harvey Postlethwaite to establish a squad.
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Why is the Mercedes F1 team so slow this year?

BAHRAIN — Too much drag and too little power. Apart from that Mercedes head to Saudi Arabia this week full of beans. The mood in Bahrain was one of immense relief after a chastening weekend that showed Mercedes to be a long way off the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull.

  1. In the circumstances, third for Lewis Hamilton and fourth for George Russell felt like a lottery win.
  2. And they know Red Bull won’t be posting double DNFs every week,
  3. The problems are both aerodynamic and engine-based.
  4. The car has to run too high off the ground to offset the problems with porpoising or bouncing at high speeds.

This in turn affects the car’s ability to punch a clean hole through the air, creating excessive drag and lack of grip.
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Why is the F1 2022 car slower?

Analysis: The 2022 cars are slower, but at the same time, quicker Formula 1 returned to action this week with the opening day of the unofficial pre-season test – the official pre-season test takes place in Bahrain, for some reason, and will be televised, unlike this week’s track action at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Thankfully media are still allowed to attend the test, even if fans aren’t. So we were able to witness in person just how dramatic these new 2022 Formula 1 cars are. Unfortunately you can’t read too much into testing, especially not the timesheet – if you bet on that order you’re almost guaranteed to lose.

The only indicator on the timesheet that provides some insight is the amount of laps a team completes during the day. Day 1 saw not a single red or yellow flag, which is almost unheard of, especially when the sport undergoes a radical technical overhaul, which it just has.

Perhaps teams just weren’t pushing hard enough.? Saying that, Alfa Romeo hit a few bumps on Wednesday as reserve driver Robert Kubica only managed nine laps in the morning, whilst Valtteri Bottas could only muster 23 for a total of 32. Alfa Romeo, along with Haas, which achieved just 43, claim it was just opening day hiccups, but the remaining eight teams looked bulletproof.

Red Bull, with champion Max Verstappen behind the wheel completed 147 laps. In fact all eight teams easily surpassed the 100-lap mark. Ferrari completed the most, 153, with running split between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. That doesn’t tell us who is quicker though and nor does the timesheet as teams run to set programmes, cycling through various fuel loads, engine modes and tyre compounds.

  1. To gain some insight into the pecking order, one must head trackside and witness the cars up close as they navigate the Barcelona circuit.
  2. We did just that, first standing at the slow final chicane (Turns 14/15) where the cars look almost stationary.
  3. Making comparisons to last years cars is difficult when you last saw them navigate this chicane some nine months ago, but they are notably slower.

This was to be expected. The 2022 cars are heavier, mainly thanks to the larger Pirelli tyres which not only add weight, but have also changed the entire suspension set-up. Previously cars relied heavily on the large tyre shoulder to absorb the bumps and kerbs, but with these new low-profile tyres, that is now solely the job of the suspension which means aggressively attacking the kerbs isn’t the best option.

  • However it’s not all bad news.
  • F1 expected these new cars to be around 2.5s/lap slower than their predecessors with the downforce slashed.
  • But that doesn’t look likely.
  • The teams themselves reckon by mid-season they will be just as quick as 2021.
  • The cars are making up lap time elsewhere on the track.
  • Standing at the end of the pit lane, where cars brake from 320kph down to just 165kph in a matter of metres, it’s obvious they are quicker in a straight line, yet they’re still braking in the same spot.

That’s because they are running much larger brake discs which are not only counteracting the heavier weight of the cars, but also slowing the cars more quickly. The move to ground-effect downforce, which produces little drag, rather than downforce generated by very draggy wings, is allowing for greater top speeds, which can be carried through long, sweeping high-speed corners.

  1. This was again evident at Turn 2, 3 and 9.
  2. We can’t say at this moment in time which cars looked the most planted, we didn’t get the chance to witness them all, but we can safely say they remain very impressive machines.
  3. Something else of note was the fact cars were seen following one another closely.

Again it’s too early to say whether the new rules have had their intended effect, by allowing cars to follow closely without losing downforce, but the first signs appear bright as they were noticeably able to remain close through corners with little sliding.

# Driver Team Time Laps
1 L. Norris McLaren 1:19.568 103
2 C. Leclerc Ferrari 1:20.165 80
3 C. Sainz Ferrari 1:20.416 73
4 G. Russell Mercedes 1:20.784 77
5 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.929 50
6 S. Vettel Aston Martin 1:21.276 52
7 Y. Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:21.638 121
8 F. Alonso Alpine 1.21.746 127
9 M. Verstappen Red Bull 1:22.246 147
10 V. Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:22.572 23
11 A. Albon Williams 1:22.760 66
12 M. Schumacher Haas 1:22.962 23
13 L. Stroll Aston Martin 1:23.327 67
14 N. Latifi Williams 1:23.379 66
15 N. Mazepin Haas 1:24.505 20
16 R. Kubica Alfa Romeo 1:25.909 9

Analysis: The 2022 cars are slower, but at the same time, quicker
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Why are the 2022 F1 cars bouncing?

F1 Plans To Clamp Down on Bouncing Beginning With French Grand Prix ATPImages Getty Images

  • Formula 1’s governing body has acted to limit the amount that cars can bounce.
  • The phenomenon has featured in Formula 1 this year after overhauled technical regulations were introduced into the sport.
  • Porpoising has arisen due to the ground effect, which has returned this year, whereby airflow beneath the intricate bodywork is disrupted, causing the cars to bounce up and down.
  • There is also a separate bouncing caused by the floors of the cars hitting the track due to the set-up window in which it is optimum for teams to run.

The FIA acted following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after several drivers raised potential long-term safety worries. Several were concerned over the potential for while Lewis Hamilton revealed at the following event that he had been subject to hits of up to 10-g.

  1. A technical directive was issued prior to the event in Canada which outlined that measurements would be taken in a bid to limit the porpoising—officially known as vertical oscillation—in the interests of safety.
  2. This analysis has now been concluded by the FIA and a metric has been defined by which this vertical oscillation will be monitored.
  3. Formula 1’s teams have been informed and the technical directive will become effective from the French Grand Prix onward, giving the affected teams two events in which to make changes.
  4. The updated TD also outlines updated parameters relating to plank wear and skid stiffness, related to the same issue, with the changes deemed necessary in order to provide a level playing field when the new metric is implemented.

: F1 Plans To Clamp Down on Bouncing Beginning With French Grand Prix
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Why are F1 cars getting heavier 2022?

What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 JAY LAWRENCE AT FORMULA ONE MANAGEMENT LTD

  • Formula 1 enters a new era of cars in 2022, and those cars will be the heaviest we’ve seen, at least in the hybrid era.
  • The minimum weight for cars in 2022 is set at 1752 pounds (795 kg), an increase of more than 440 pounds (200 kg) compared to 2008.
  • Formula 1 chiefs are aware that heavier cars is an issue, but actually shaving off weight is far from an easy task.

As recently as 2008, the year in which Lewis Hamilton claimed the first of his seven world titles, Formula 1 cars had a minimum weight of 1311 pounds (595 kg). For 2022, the minimum weight is set at 1752 pounds (795 kg), an increase of more than 440 pounds (200 kg) compared to 2008, and even a vast raise on 2021’s minimum weight of 1657 pounds (752 kg).

  1. It continues the trend of the 2010s in which Formula 1 cars became bulkier, heavier and lazier, while also still achieving new track records.
  2. The weight of 1752 pounds (795 kg), of which 176 pounds (80 kg) is the seat with driver, does not include the 242 pounds (110 kg) of fuel that is required for a race distance, meaning Formula 1 cars will be a whopping 1995 pounds (905 kg) at the start of Grands Prix.

In the days of in-race refueling, which was outlawed in 2009, cars would typically be around 1443 pounds (650 kg) at lights out. Why the increase? One major increase came on the dawn of the sport’s hybrid era in 2014 due to the additional weight involved in the complex 1.6 liter V6 turbo hybrid power units compared to their 2.4-liter V8 predecessors. What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren ride in 2008 was about 400 pounds lighter than the 2022 Mercedes he will drive in the Formula 1 World Championship. Darren Heath Photographer Getty Images A partial revision was made in 2015, tipping the minimum limit above 1543 pounds (700 kg), while in 2020 another 2.2 pounds (1 kg) was added to facilitate a second fuel flow meter to help the FIA measure fuel usage.

  • That came in the wake of never-proven suspicions that the standard fuel flow meter was being exploited for performance gains.
  • Within the framework of the technical regulations, the power unit must have a minimum weight of 330 pounds (150 kg), and within that the MGU-K must weigh at least 15.4 pounds (7 kg), the MGU-H at least 8.8 pounds (4 kg), and the Energy Store at least 44 pounds (20 kg).

There are also minimum weights relating to the crankshaft assembly, connecting rods and pistons. The decision to have minimum weights of certain components has been driven by a desire to ensure manufacturers do not embarking on a spending war if the performance reward is miniscule.

In the early years of the hybrid era, some teams struggled to make the minimum weight limit. Taller, heavier drivers were at a disadvantage. F1 driver Adrian Sutil even tried fasting for two days leading up to a race as an experiment in 2014. This situation was alleviated for 2019 when a minimum seat weight of 176 pounds (80 kg) was set; in effect any driver (plus equipment and seat) under 176 pounds would have ballast added in the cockpit area to equalize the field.

That contributed to a 15.4-pound (7-kg) increase to the overall weight package for that season. The increase in size of Formula 1’s tires is also a factor. A move to wider tires in 2017 prompted an increase in weight while that change coincided with a revision to the aerodynamic regulations that resulted in wider and more aggressive Formula 1 cars – which were consequently heavier. What Is Wrong With Mercedes F1 Safety additions, including the HALO cockpit system, add to the weight of a modern F1 car. NurPhoto Getty Images Safety is also attributable to the gain. The FIA’s Safety Department is continually researching and understanding methods of protecting drivers from injury.

  1. That means, over the years, chassis have become stronger to withstand tougher requirements.
  2. Most of these safety elements are elements hidden away or underappreciated, but the fundamentally obvious change was the introduction of the HALO halo head protection device in 2018.
  3. It has to withstand 125 kN (kilonewton) of force (equivalent to approximately 12 tons) for five seconds without compromising its integrity.

That brought a weight gain of around 13.2 pounds (6 kg) to the package, while the chassis also had to be adapted to accommodate the additional structure on top of the cockpit area. F1 Car Minimum Weights of the Hybrid Era (2014-Present) 2022: 1752 pounds (795 kg) 2021: 1657 pounds (752 kg) 2017: 1604 pounds (728 kg) 2014: 1521 pounds (690 kg) Formula 1 chiefs are aware that heavier cars is an issue, but actually shaving off weight is far from an easy task.

The series and teams are addressing that for the next major F1 car evolution in 2022. “Some of the primary objectives are, can we save weight?” said F1 sporting director Ross Brawn during a media roundtable last November. “It is challenging with a hybrid car and the safety initiatives we have these days.

Can we have a lighter car? Certainly. Can we have a smaller car? We believe we can. There’s a very real chance with what’s evolving for ’26 we can have a more compact car.” But for 2022 at least, Formula 1 will be competing with its heaviest machinery ever.
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