Formula 1 | Mercedes F1 will ‘study’ the Red Bull concept, everything is open for 2023

Compared to expectations earlier this year, this Mercedes is clearly a failure in terms of performance and results.

The rest of the team is not wrong either: Aston Martin F1 and Williams have recently made developments not inspired by the design of Mercedes, with zero bridge; but of Red Bull design. As an admission of Mercedes failure by customer teams …

Faced with the denial of the stopwatch and other equipment, should Mercedes persist in maintaining its zero-bridge design next year? Or do developments at Silverstone give new hope?

Mike Elliott, Mercedes technical director and successor to James Allison, began by putting visible differences into perspective.

“People look at the car, look at the differences and think ‘it’s huge, that has to explain the big difference between the teams’. »

“I think an aerodynamic would tell you that the really important parts are the underground, the spoiler and the key aerodynamic structures. If the body contributes to it, it’s not the main feature.”

“There has been a lot of talk about how difficult we have been with narrow pontoons, which means you have a big flat. Managing it and managing this rigidity is a challenge. »

“We, like probably all teams, will evaluate what we have, look at what others have done and find out what we think is the best way forward. And for us, so far, the goal has been to generate the greatest possible understanding, as fast as possible, and then find out the right things from here. ”

For Elliott, therefore, it is still too early to say that Adrian Newey was right with him and James Allison: he still doesn’t know who, Mercedes or Red Bull, made the right decision in the medium term. Besides something like “the best design” … does this really exist in F1?

“Do we have the right concept? It’s almost impossible to say that because we only play with our cars, we never play with other people’s cars. As for the mechanical aspects of the car, we are learning like everyone else and I am sure there is more to gain in this area. »

“But we must continue to work hard. We are honest with ourselves, we have not started with the right foot and we just have to look at where our weaknesses are, see how we can improve and keep making these improvements as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. »

“The part of the body, the one that is visibly different, is probably not the differentiating key, it is the detail of the floor design. We have evaluated some concepts in this direction. »

Wouldn’t copying Red Bull’s design also be a bit humiliating for Mercedes? Doesn’t this psychological factor come into play?

“I won’t say which direction we’re going, but we’ll look at it. I think we would be stupid if we didn’t have a certain level of humility in thinking we were potentially wrong and looking at what others have done. And it’s not just about the Red Bull concept. , it’s about looking at all the concepts up and down the grid and saying what seems interesting and why. ”

Therefore, everything is open for Mercedes, confirms its technical director.

“What you’re trying to do is find out what’s going on in the airflow, find out what you want to do with it, and develop your body shapes from there. So we’ll look and say, what do you think the Red Bull body is doing? and why? And the same for all the other cars up and down the grille, to see what we can learn from that. ”

“We will see what we can apply and then maybe you will see changes this year, maybe you will see changes next year or maybe we will stay where we are. These are the questions we try to answer. »

The porridge solved?

If Mike Elliott maintains hope in the current design of his team, it is mainly thanks to the news at Barcelona and Silverstone this weekend.

In particular, the porpoise seems to have been very small, although the Silverstone track helps because it is less rugged.

“It’s pretty obvious looking at the car, we made a big change in Barcelona in the way we tried to use aerodynamics.”

“In doing so, we’ve made good progress on the porpoise. But we probably did so by compromising part of the car’s overall aerodynamic performance.”

“So this update was really there to try to reduce the porpoise, try to add performance to the car and really progress in lap times. And the goal is to do it without compromising the rebound or any other negative aspect we would have had. »

Leave a Comment