Mercedes have struggled with their W13’s porpoising issues since the start of the 2022 championship. The aerodynamic problem, which leads to the uncontrollable bouncing of the car, has restricted the reigning constructors’ champions to being the third fastest team across the circuit. With Ferrari and Red Bull leading in all five races, the Silver Arrows have not yet won a single race this season. Luckily, the changes and upgrades that the German racing team introduced in Spain seem to be working well for them.
After long and frustrating midfield runs all year, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell enjoyed their competitive performance on Friday. Russell ended up being the second fastest driver during FP2. The 24-year-old finished 0.117 seconds behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who set the time in both practice sessions. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton finished P3, 0.204 seconds more than Leclerc’s 1:19.670s leading lap time. The British drivers were happy with the transformed W13 with the constant porpoising issue, which might have cost Mercedes this year’s championship almost disappearing.
After the sessions on Friday, Hamilton revealed that he felt positive and was super happy with the W13’s progress. The seven-time F1 champ expressed his gratitude to the engineers at the factory who did not give up and kept pushing for a solution. Moreover, he pointed out that Mercedes is not the quickest yet, but the Briton thinks they are on their way. Hamilton also talked about the progress of the W13 in terms of porpoising. The 37-year-old reckoned that Friday was the first time they had driven down the straight without any bouncing. However, he clarified that the W13 was still experiencing some bouncing. But it is much better than the troubles the Silver Arrows have had this season.
George Russell Feels The W13 Reacting Better, But Small Issues Still Need To Be Sorted
After finishing second in FP2, George Russell revealed that the W13 felt different from before because of Mercedes’s tweaks for the Spanish weekend. The 24-year-old shared that the Silver Arrows have got different limitations in Spain as the W13 is not experiencing porpoising on the straight. However, Russell pointed out that there was still some bouncing on the corners, which his team needed to dial out.
Further, George stated that small issues would take some time to be sorted. They would not disappear, and the Mercedes drivers will have to deal with them during the Spanish weekend. However, the Briton was hopeful that his team would find the solution somewhere down the line but probably not during the current weekend that they could put in action instantly. In addition, Russell mentioned that Mercedes need to find the balance between the desired setup for the W13, either for qualifying or the race, and the compromises they are willing to make. He concluded that his team was in a good spot for the weekend.
Meanwhile, Hamilton agreed with his teammate that the Silver Arrows had not conquered all their troubles yet. However, he was happy to have a reason to feel confident about his team moving in the right direction. Lewis mentioned that it was still tough to drive the car. But the W13 is running much nicer than it has in the past. Further, the former world champ added, “I think we can get it into an even better place for tomorrow. So hopefully we can tackle the heels of the gup up ahead.”
Lewis Hamilton is hopeful that he might be able to get back to the front line, which he has been used to for the most part of this career. It has been a tough run for the 37-year-old, who has not won a single race in 2022. It would be interesting to see how the Silver Arrows perform on Saturday during FP3 and qualifying.