Mercedes had a season-transforming run in Barcelona after struggling all season with porpoising and lack of pace. The Silver Arrows seemed to have countered the bouncing issue and appeared to be one of the fastest cars across the circuit during the Spanish Grand Prix. However, things were completely different for the German racing team when they landed in Monaco. The Mercedes drivers were once again forced to bear the bouncing issues on the bumpy Monte Carlo track. However, the bouncing that the W13 experienced in Monaco differed from what they had been dealing with this season. The uncontrollable bouncing restricted the drivers from going faster in Monaco. This led to a fifth and eight-place finish for George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

After the race, Hamilton revealed that he had expected things to be different after a good weekend in Spain. The Briton admitted that the W13 did not perform well in low-speed sections during the Spanish GP. But, the car did okay in Monaco in the long run and had troubles on single-lap stints. Thus, Mercedes anticipated that it would be difficult for them during the Monaco weekend. However, Hamilton felt that things got worse than the Silver Arrows had anticipated due to the bumps during slow, medium, and high speeds, which was very challenging for the drivers. While the aerodynamic issue was majorly sorted in Spain, Mercedes faced another bouncing issue as a result of the W13’s distinctive concept.

W13 Monaco

Moreover, the suspension developed around a very stiff aerodynamic platform did not provide enough compliance on the bumpy Monaco circuit. Hence, the suspensions could not avoid the car being pounded on the ground consistently. Let’s take a more detailed look at all the troubles the W13 had in Monaco.

Rear Suspension Troubles For Mercedes In Monaco

The suspensions were forced to do a lot of damping than before due to shallower sidewalls in the 2022 tyres. Thus, Mercedes’s rear suspension seemed to suffer a lot in Monaco. Moreover, the car was super stiff to ensure the aero platform’s stability in order to maximize downforce and limit porpoising

Thus, the insufficient travel in the suspension geometry made it impossible to smother the bumps by reducing the W13’s stiffness. Thus, while Mercedes faced a completely different problem in Monaco, it was just as frustrating for the team. There was nothing that Mercedes could do to stop the car from crashing into the ground over the bumps as the lack of suspension compliance became punishing for the drivers. 

Lewis Hamilton
W13

Mercedes Forced To Increase The Rid Height Again, Compromising On Downforce

The Silver Arrows had to make some huge compromises to prevent the W13 from bottoming out. The rear suspension travel was used up due to the bouncing. And the team was forced to increase the ride height more than normally done for a street circuit. As a result, the Silver Arrows had to suffer from the lack of downforce. However, Mercedes decided to use their older front wing from Miami to be quicker around the corners and get more downforce from the front axle.

The front wing helps the rear aerodynamics and provides more downforce, and it gave the two Mercedes drivers the responsiveness they needed initially around the Monaco circuit. However, the rear end became more wayward than it already was due to a massive rear ride height.

Moreover, the absence of extreme cutaway at the bottom of the endplates provides better airflow around the front tyres and down the car. However, the older wing used in Monaco kept most of the airflow for itself across its full width. The wing produces downforce due to the air pressure difference between the upper and lower surfaces. But, bleeding the airflow to the outward ends reduces the pressure difference as the newer wing is capable of. 

W13 Front Wing Setup

Talking after the qualifying, Hamilton admitted that the W13 had poor rear downforce. He added, “Loads of front, nothing on the rear.” Mercedes have clearly lacked around the slowers corners as they failed to set up the car in the right manner with its concept. With slow-corner tracks like Baku and Montreal coming up, the struggle might continue for the Silver Arrows. We might have to wait until they reach Hamilton’s home for the British Grand Prix to see another magnificent performance like the Spanish Grand Prix.

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