Mercedes has evidently struggled since the start of the season and failed to find the race-winning pace in the championship. The Silver Arrows have shown glimpses of high-speed performance. But both their drivers have not been able to do better than a P3 finish due to the W13\’s issues. The German outfit tried a series of upgrades and concepts to get rid of their porpoising issues and find some extra pace to compete at the front and win their first race of the season. However, while they have found some momentum in recent weeks, Mercedes are still far from a win.
The newest upgrade in Silverstone did bring Mercedes a bit closer to its rivals at the British Grand Prix. However, it was not enough to have a three-way battle for the championship. Thus, the Silver Arrows are left with no choice but to take inspiration from the rival leading teams. After the new regulations were introduced, Mercedes came up with a zero-pod design. Although this might have been the reason behind their struggles.
However, the team\’s technical director Mike Elliot has claimed that Mercedes\’ troubles are due to the floor design and not because of the sidepods. Elliot stated that the visibly different bodywork was probably not the key differentiator. Instead, the floor design detail hindered the eight-time straight constructor champions\’ progress this year.
Moreover, the Mercedes aerodynamicist revealed that the team has looked at some of the concepts. Mike did not disclose which concept the Silver Arrows would choose. But he teased that the team is looking at the Red Bull floor solution. Moreover, Elliot specified that it was not the Red Bull solution Mercedes would focus on. They will look at the concepts from the top to the bottom of the grid to understand the designs and their effectiveness.
Mercedes Aim To Improve Floor Design By Learning From Rival Concepts
Elliot said the Silver Arrows are open to exploring Red Bull\’s concept. However, he thought that it was more important to understand why the design was working better than their concept. The British engineer further said that as an ex-aerodynamicist, he tries to understand the working and the problems in the flow field. The approach was to figure out a strategy for the flow field and develop the parts accordingly.
Thus, Mercedes will look at various concepts across the grid, understand the designs and then apply them. Elliot added, \”Maybe we\’ll see changes this year or next year. Or maybe we\’ll stick with where we are. I think they\’re the questions we\’re trying to answer.\”
The floor is a crucial part of modern F1 cars as they generate downforce from the floor and its vortexes. Thus, Mercedes will require to get their design right to manage the porpoising without compromising on the race-winning performance. Furthermore, Elliot shared that Mercedes made some big changes in Barcelona in terms of aerodynamics.
The British engineer pointed out that his team made some good progress with the bouncing issue. But, they were left to compromise some of the car\’s aerodynamic performance. Hence, Elliot specified that the upgrade in Silverstone was to restrict the bouncing while adding some genuine performance. Mike concluded, \”And the aim is to do that without compromising bouncing or any of the other sort of negative sides that we could have got.\”