Mercedes has found “really big steps” after shifting focus from F1 cars

Mercedes has revealed that it is already finding “really big steps” in performance at its factory after committing to a new direction with its Formula 1 car.

The German car manufacturer has opted for an action plan that will mean a change of concept by moving away from the idea of ​​’zeropod’ with which it has run since the start of last season.

And while it knows it will take a long time to make the progress it believes is necessary to be fighting at the front, Mercedes has offered some encouraging news for drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Speaking at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the team had already unlocked good performance steps now that it has changed its approach.

“Those are big steps in performance relative to where we are even now,” Wolff explained. “The kind of gains that are coming out, in our R&D and in aerodynamics, are much bigger than we’ve had for a long time.

“So we’ve unlocked some potential because now we’re just looking at things from different angles. We have a different perspective, due to our learnings from the Bahrain test and race.

“There was no step back. On the contrary, there were immediately two steps forward.”

While much of the focus of the “concept” conversation in the team has revolved around sidepods, it seems that Mercedes’ change of direction relates more to the setup window of where the car runs relative to the floor.

“I think the biggest change we made was to see if we wanted the car to be set up in its sweet spot,” Wolff explained.

“We’ve been too low last year, and we’ve been too high this year. And now we think we know what to land on.

“On the other hand, obviously, everything else follows in terms of floor and bodywork that you want to achieve.

“So I don’t want to sound too optimistic, but at least we’re seeing fruit at hand with things that are encouraging.”

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo By: Steve Etherington/Motorsport Images

Wolff said that as a result of the work done, future developments of the W14 would make it look very different.

“It’s all the airfoils that are visible, from the leading edge to the diffuser to the beam wing,” he said.

“There are massive amounts on the ground, obviously with a ground effect car, and then there are a lot more architectural things that are necessary to make things more efficient.

“So literally the car is flipped over right now and there’s a lot of good stuff that we see.”

While George Russell’s third place on the grid for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix has given the team an indication that things may not be as bad as they seemed in Bahrain, Wolff says his view of the team needing a Major rethinking of the car has not changed.

“We are always looking at benchmark performance, and that is [Max] Verstappen and [Sergio] Perez today, and it’s too far. So that hasn’t changed.

“I think if Max had finished qualifying the gap would have been even bigger. We have seen it in other long runs as well.

“So my mood hasn’t changed one millimeter just because we’re P3 in qualifying. But the difference is that the trajectory is set now. So it’s no longer a single session, a single qualifying or even a single race. We’re just going full steam ahead now changing things.”

Also read:

#Mercedes #big #steps #shifting #focus #cars

Leave a Comment