Mercedes may not have had the most beneficial weekend in Miami. However, the two drivers showed some positive signs, with George Russell finishing fifth, followed by Lewis Hamilton in the sixth position. The Silver Arrows had a bittersweet weekend in Miami, where they had some good practice sessions on Friday. However, the W13’s troubles with porpoising came up again when the engineering team made some tweaks with the downforce on Saturday. Luckily for Mercedes, Hamilton and Russell managed to bring as many points as possible with the Silver Arrows’ porpoising troubles and lack of pace.
Further, the German manufacturer introduced a three-part aerodynamic upgrade to improve their struggling W13. Miami’s newest circuit was a low-downforce track, and the Silver Arrows brought in two changes focusing on a customized low-downforce package. Moreover, the third upgrade was a general modification which is expected to stay on the car on higher-downforce tracks as well.
Mercedes Introduced Low-Downforce Parts In Miami
The Silver Arrows brought in some modifications with the installation of a rear wing along with a new beam wing. The upper wing had a lowes mainplane along with a smaller area and a straight leading edge. The upper wing was designed in combination with a beam wing that included a much smaller upper element.
The function of the beam wing is to control the airflow from the lower end of the W13 to the mainplane’s underside above it. The hardness of the wing in producing downforce is proportional to the amount of drag induced. Thus, the mainplane’s smaller area and the beam wing’s smaller upper elements reduce the drag and maximize the downforce.
The racing team’s tracking engineering director, Andrew Shovlin, explained the upgrades that the team introduced in Miami. Shovlin shared that Mercedes just trimmed the existing wing away to adjust to the previous low-frag track this year. However, the racing team decided to specially design a wing for the level of downforce required in Miami. Further, the British engineer revealed remaking the wings has allowed the team to reduce the weight of the W13. Most F1 cars in the 2022 championship are over the minimum weight limit, just like the W13, and the team is trying their best to shed off some of it.
The Silver Arrows Redesign New Front Wing Endplate
The most interesting upgrade other than the low-downforce package was the introduction of a new front wing endplate. The new installation featured a radical re-designing of the slots at the lower edge of the W13. The endplate channels the airflow from the wing elements out towards the sides and out-washing around the tyres.
Mercedes has cut away the whole rear bottom corner of the endplate to divulge some wing elements. The modification allows these elements to divert most of the air outwards. The team has also created a vortex generator by creating a small cut-out in the extreme outboard end of the wing’s top element. Moreover, the vortex provides a diverted airflow with greater energy.
The modification is made to make the outwash more powerful. The outwash’s intensity makes the airflow to the underfloor and around the sidepods cleaner. The FIA has eliminated the bargeboards from the regulations. Thus, the teams have been looking to find an alternate way to increase the power of the outwash. Mercedes managed to produce a highly creative solution as per the new regulations about endplate design.