Credit:Motorsport images

Despite a complete concept overhaul, Mercedes lacks the desired performance from the 2024 F1 season challenger, W15. In Bahrain, a miscue in the cooling setup led to underwhelming results. However, team principal Toto Wolff promised to unleash W15’s true potential in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Ironically, Mercedes’ woes only worsened in Jeddah. Due to a lack of desired lap time, George Russell finished P6, whereas Lewis Hamilton barely managed to get some points at P9. Meanwhile, explaining the cause of the Jeddah disaster, Wolff dropped hints on the potential correlation gap between simulator data and on-track performance.


Toto Wolff Hints W15’s Simulator Data Not In Sync With On-Track Performance!

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff speaking to George Russell. Image credit: Getty Images

Mercedes walked into the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with a new rear wing to add more downforce around the steep corners and gain additional lap time. However, the change of setups had too little impact on W15’s straight-line pace. The Silver Arrows witnessed a significant loss of lap times in straights compared to the rest of the field. While W15 managed to cover up around the corners, the lack of pace on the straights pushed them down the mid-field. Explaining the events that led to the disaster, Toto Wolff, the team principal, looked clueless. He indirectly hinted at correlation issues with factory simulator data and the on-track performance of the season challenger. Wolff added how simulator data projected downforce gain in the certain speed range of the Jeddah circuit. But on track, the results have been completely opposite.

Furthermore, Toto Wolff added that a much bigger factor is contributing to the lack of high speed than what a rear wing can solve. “We are missing downforce beyond the steps that you would have with a bigger rear wing,” said Wolff. Notably, Lewis Hamilton had already assessed previously that Mercedes missed a trick by not introducing big changes. While the W15 is a good platform, the team must build on it to turn it into a competitive machinery. Additionally, the spiteful bouncing issues relapsed in Jeddah, which only added to the Silver Arrows’ woes. Wolff confessed that the team is yet to fully understand what’s causing the porpoising, as it’s been two years since they have had this issue. Regardless of the adversities, Wolff is confident of a comeback sooner than later. “We are on a mission on this one, and I am 100 percent sure we are going to unlock that performance gap,” said Wolff.

‘Mercedes Miles Off’ Lewis Hamilton Sounds Off Alarms After Jeddah Disaster

Lewis Hamilton
Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, who attained P9 for the second time in a row in this season in Jeddah, issued caution for Mercedes amid lack competitive speed. Hamilton assessed that W15 is fine on low speed corners and decent in medium corners. But at high speed, Lewis reckons Silver Arrows are miles off.

“It was like I was in a different category when I was going through the high speed between the other guys around me,” said Lewis Hamilton. The lack of speed added to his frustration as someone who has been in the same position for the past three consecutive years.

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