Mercedes imagine rivals’ vehicles have superior rear-end steadiness · RaceFans


Mercedes say bettering the rear-end steadiness of the W12 is a key space they’re engaged on to shut the hole to their rivals after testing.

Each the crew’s drivers commented on the modifications to the automobile’s dealing with because the introduction of recent guidelines through the low season supposed to cut back rear downforce.

The crew’s trackside engineer Andrew Shovlin stated they’re making an attempt to make the W12 a extra forgiving automobile for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, primarily based on what they discovered eventually week’s take a look at.

“The wind made it tough,” Shovlin defined in a video launched by the crew. “When the wind is behind the automobile you lose a number of downforce as a result of successfully the airspeed is diminished.

“So some corners the place the wind was behind, it was liable to doing that, after which additionally the tyres are fairly simple to overheat on that circuit and should you begin sliding, you are likely to lose grip and it will get worse. So there are a couple of issues.”

Rival groups didn’t seem to have the identical steadiness issues as Mercedes, stated Shovlin.

“Importantly, we may see that a few of our opponents weren’t struggling in the identical means 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 happening now.

“Hopefully after we get to the race weekend it received’t be so tough for the drivers as a result of they have been having to work fairly laborious to do the lap instances that they have been doing.”

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Mercedes’ efforts to make progress with the W12 have been difficult by the actual fact they lined the bottom mileage of any crew. Shovlin stated this was partly as a result of work on the automobile between the times’ two classes took longer than anticipated, which diminished how a lot operating they might do within the afternoons.

“Essentially it was as a result of we have been making an attempt to do a number of work on the automobile in that lunch hour. Now we have to do the driving force swap, which requires fairly a couple of gadgets like pedals and issues to alter, so that’s one factor.

“Additionally, we have been taking the ground off the automobile to do some checks and a few service work on the facility unit. Now, we have been considering we might lose the primary hour of the afternoon. We thought it would run in by quarter-hour or half-hour, however as you noticed we have been not often out earlier than 4 o’clock.”

Crimson Bull set the quickest time of pre-season testing. Mercedes’ chief strategist James Vowles is satisfied their Honda-powered rival will start the yr because the crew to beat.

“It was fairly evident from that [our] automobile was dealing with poorly and conversely the Crimson Bull, the truth is, seemed what we might name ‘planted’. It was a really secure automobile particularly by means of the final sector of the lap.

“I feel that’s a good remark, it was seen to the skin and I might say the lap instances mirrored that as properly. “Nevertheless it’s additionally honest to say that we don’t have solutions as we’re sat right here now, it’s simply 24 hours after the top of the take a look at. [There’s] big quantities of knowledge accessible to us and now a protracted journey forward to attempt to perceive what should be blamed for that.”

“I might say Crimson Bull are forward on efficiency,” he added. “They’re the category act from the take a look at. However it’s a take a look at, it’s not a race and it’s one occasion out of 23 [races].”

Vowles predicted a “shut season” between the 2 groups.

“Crimson Bull are a fierce adversary, they’ve acquired a powerful package deal and clearly got here out of the field very, very fast. The results of that’s throughout the season and throughout various kinds of monitor layouts, I’m positive you will note us transfer forwards and backwards relative to them however I don’t imagine we’re going into this significantly discovering all of the efficiency that’s lacking or being forward of them.

“So, briefly, sure, I feel we’re going to have an in depth championship this yr.”

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