No rapid solutions, admits Mercedes

Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles and trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin admit that there are “no rapid solutions” to the W12’s rear-end instability.

“Snappy and unforgiving,” is how Valtteri Bottas summed up the W12 on the finish of pre-season testing, and whereas rivals ponder how rather more Mercedes might need up its sleeve, there isn’t a doubting that the Finn and his seven-time world champion teammate, Lewis Hamilton clearly discovered their 2021 automobile a handful.

Talking within the German group’s video debrief, chief strategist James Vowles and trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin admit that there are “no rapid solutions” to the automobile’s rear finish instability.

“It was fairly evident that the automobile was dealing with poorly,” says Vowles, “and conversely the Purple Bull in truth was a really secure automobile particularly by the final sector of the lap.

“I feel that is a good remark,” he continued. “It was seen to the surface and I might say the lap occasions mirrored that as nicely.

“But it surely’s additionally truthful to say that we do not have solutions as we’re sat right here now,” he admitted, “it’s simply 24 hours after the tip of the check. Big quantities of knowledge out there to us and now a protracted journey forward to try to perceive what was making that.”

Shovlin admits that the group, like its rivals, was affected the winds that battered the Bahrain circuit all through the three days of testing, however that the rear finish of the W12 seems to have been notably vulnerable.

The wind made it difficult,” says Shovlin. “When the wind is behind the automobile, you lose loads of downforce as a result of successfully the air pace is decreased, so some corners the place the wind was behind, it was vulnerable to doing that. Then additionally the tyres are fairly simple to overheat on that circuit and if you happen to begin sliding, you are likely to lose grip and it will get worse. So, there are a couple of issues.

“Importantly, we may see that a few of our rivals weren’t struggling in the identical method as us, so we have to put fairly a deal with understanding why the rear finish was a bit weak, how we are able to get it extra secure and predictable and that work is occurring now.

“Hopefully once we get to the race weekend it will not be so troublesome for the drivers as a result of they have been having to work fairly laborious to do the lap occasions that they have been doing.”

Looking forward to the season opener, Vowles admits that Purple Bull heads to Bahrain in higher form.

“I might say Purple Bull are forward on efficiency, they’re the category act from the check,” he says. “However it’s a check, it’s not a race, and it’s one occasion out of 23.

“Are we going to have an in depth season? I might say so. Purple Bull are a fierce adversary, they have a robust bundle and clearly got here out of the field very, very fast.”

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