As the Formula 1 season comes to an end, Mercedes is getting ready for a crucial development that could shape their performance in the coming year. They introduced their latest upgrade package, which includes an improved car part, at the United States Grand Prix. While it might have been a bittersweet race for Lewis Hamilton, he finished second but was later disqualified for excessive use of the car part. However, the performance of the new car part hints at a promising future for the team. Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin stressed how important this development is, saying it’s “crucial for next year.” Let’s take a closer look at the details.
Mercedes Working with New Car Part Design
The upgraded car part introduced by Mercedes is generating excitement in the Formula 1 community. After its debut in Austin, Lewis Hamilton followed up with another strong performance in the Mexico City Grand Prix. He expressed his newfound confidence in the balance of his Mercedes W14. This indicates that the team is moving in the right direction. Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ trackside engineering director, explained that the team has made a “forward step.”
He emphasized the importance of keeping up with or surpassing their top competitors in terms of car development. In the ever-changing world of Formula 1, staying at the forefront of technological advancements is essential. Shovlin also emphasized the role of data in their decision-making process. The information collected from the car’s performance on the track, such as pressures on the car part, aligns well with their findings from the wind tunnel. Many consider this alignment to be a significant indicator of success. It forms the basis for their development direction in 2024.
Interlagos Challenge and Teams’ Wing Choices
With only three races left in the season, Formula 1 is heading to Interlagos Circuit in Brazil. This track is famous for posing one of the most significant technical challenges in the sport. Known for its rough track, this circuit presents a unique set of challenges for engineers. The high altitude further adds to the complexity of finding the perfect car setup. Red Bull and Mercedes have both chosen high-downforce car parts, but with a slightly different approach. Red Bull is well-known for its innovative strategies. In recent races, they have continued their approach by selecting the maximum downforce car part. The design features a straight main piece with an upward curve on the front edge, designed to maximize downforce. Their beam part, coupled with the maximum downforce car part, has proven to be effective in providing downforce in corners and efficiency with the DRS wide open.
Mercedes, on the other hand, will also be using the highest downforce car part for this race. Their design emphasizes extending the length of the main piece to allow more airflow towards the rear, generating downforce. Their DRS flap design is focused on reducing air resistance when the system is not activated. Mercedes’ high downforce setup is expected to help them on bumpy tracks like Interlagos, where a higher ride height is required. Ferrari and McLaren, in contrast, have chosen medium-downforce car parts, similar to what they used at COTA. These setups are designed to strike a balance between downforce and air resistance, which can be advantageous in certain sections of the Interlagos circuit.
Furthermore, as the teams prepare to tackle the challenges of Interlagos, we can only wait and see how they will set up their cars. With just an hour of practice to fine-tune their configurations, Formula 1 fans are looking forward to a close and exciting battle for victory at one of the most beloved tracks on the calendar. The choices made in terms of downforce setups may play a critical role in determining the outcome of the Brazilian Grand Prix.