Mercedes is surrounded by two problems whose point of compromise it has not yet found: if you lower the car to the maximum to achieve optimal groun
Mercedes is surrounded by two problems whose point of compromise it has not yet found: if you lower the car to the maximum to achieve optimal ground effect, the car makes those permanent jumps whose extreme is porpoising; if you raise it, the porpoising disappears, but the team loses a lot of performance and the ‘scooped’ wing of 2022, designed to, together with the beam wing, maximize the efficiency of the rear, ends up generating an extra drag that puts all the Mercedes engines at the bottom of the top speed table.
So the problem is not simply solved with a smaller rear wing, but the lack of top speed is compounded by having less rear lift. In addition, the signs indicate that, at this time, after tyrannizing the V6Turbo Hybrid era in F1 from the beginning in 2014, the Mercedes engine is currently the weakest on the grid. In short, after Jeddah it seemed clear that Mercedes is not far below Gap’s second in relation to Red Bull and Ferrari.
This is what George Russell himself has admitted, who overshadowed a troubled and resigned Lewis Hamilton last weekend. “I think we have a better understanding of our race pace than we do of our qualifying pace. When you look at the result of the race, where we finished 30 seconds behind, probably 30 laps after the safety car left, that’s one second a lap. That is also our difference in classification”, summed up the Englishman.
The problem affects several teams, although the worst victim is Mercedes. Helmut Marko, right-hand man and eyes of Dietrich Mateschitz at Red Bull Racing, assures that this year’s car “is a diva” difficult to understand. Therein lies the secret, perhaps, of Ferrari’s successful design: in its simplicity. Those who were most involved in radical solutions were the ones who were most complicated (see Alfa Romeo, despite its Ferrari engine).