Mercedes clearly struggled at the weekend in Imola since the start of Friday’s practice. Lewis Hamilton & George Russell started Sunday’s Emilia Romagna GP at P13 and P11 respectively. While Russell managed to get ahead early in the race, Hamilton found himself stuck in the line and could manage to finish at P11.
George Russell fought hard and finished fourth after some adjustment issues with his front wing left him compromised. The porpoising issue continued to worsen for Mercedes while the racing team was also troubled by tyre warmup problems. But recently, Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin revealed that the racing team is moving in a positive direction and plans on bringing some upgrades as soon as Miami.
Shovlin Talks About Mercedes’ Porpoising Trouble In A Race Debrief Video
Andrew Shovlin talked about Mercedes’ approach to the bouncing issue with their car and how the team is moving forward to solving the problem. The Engineering Director told that the Silver Arrows’ have a realistic step-by-step approach rather than looking for one big solution. Mercedes are aware that the porpoising issue with the W13 will not go away overnight. However, Andrew told that the racing team is seeing some encouraging signs.
Further, the British F1 engineer disclosed that Mercedes is planning to bring some newly-designed parts to the W13. The racing team hopes to bring the upgrades during the Miami GP to track the progress on the porpoising issue. Shovlin explained that a lot of teams are struggling with bouncing issues. Moreover, Mercedes are aware that lifting the car’s ride height is a way to resolve the problem. He added that the engineering team in Brackley is working hard to understand the phenomenon and find a way to control it. Andrew hopes that his team will be able to engineer the issue out of the W13.
Meanwhile, Shovlin emphasized that both Lewis and George struggled with tyre warmup issues. And the damp and cold conditions at Imola made it so much harder for the Mercedes drivers to maintain the tyre temperatures.
Shovlin Explains Pitstop Error In Russell’s Car At Imola
George Russell’s W13 was endangered when the team failed to adjust the front wing to make up for drying conditions. Shovlin pointed out that an electronic gun is used to put a pre-programmed number of turns during the adjustment of the car’s parts at the pitstop. The stops have gotten so quick that the racing teams can no longer do adjustments manually. The Mercedes engineering director added that the team had two guns that got knocked out on the front wing endplate. Moreover, the front endplates on the W13 are much bigger, which caused the gun to reset. Hence, Andrew clarified that nothing had broken in Russell’s car. It was an adjustment issue that Mercedes failed to deal with due to a faulty tool. Shovlin added, “It had not occurred to us before in practice sessions.”
Mercedes are third on the constructors’ rankings this year after being the reigning champs for eight seasons consistently. On the other hand, Russell is fourth on the drivers’ ranking while Hamilton is struggling at the seventh spot. Thus, the Silver Arrows have a lot of work to do at Miami GP if they want to catch up with the championship frontrunners, Ferrari and Red Bull. The inaugural Miami Grand Prix will be held from May 6 to 8.