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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

F1 quirk that makes ‘no sense’ gives clues to W15’s actual fault

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The German producer has endured a difficult begin to the 2024 marketing campaign the place its new automotive has proven promise but in addition some key weaknesses which have left Lewis Hamilton and George Russell struggling at occasions.

Specifically, Mercedes has been chasing solutions about why its automotive isn’t performing in addition to anticipated in high-speed corners.

A part of the preliminary investigation has concerned the correlation between what the downforce figures that its wind tunnel and CFD simulations are saying needs to be produced and what it’s discovering in actual life.

It centered a substantial amount of effort on attempting to raised perceive the phenomenon at play that might clarify why the downforce was lacking.

However deeper evaluation of its W15 has truly thrown up one thing much more intriguing – in that it now believes the downforce is being produced precisely as predicted – however that it isn’t truly bringing it any profit in efficiency.

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It’s understood that this discovery has shifted the mindset inside the group that the difficulty might be extra mechanical associated than aerodynamic – which is what prompted it to strive some totally different set-up instructions ultimately weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Requested by Autosport with regards to its newest understanding of the automotive, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff mentioned: “We’re measuring downforce with our sensors and stress tabs, and it is saying to us that now we have 70 factors extra downforce in a selected nook in Melbourne than we had final yr.

“However, on the lap time, it isn’t one kilometre per hour sooner. It does not make any sense. So, the place’s the limitation? 

“I believe we wished to tick some few containers to know: is there any limitation that now we have noticed? I believe there’s.”

Wolff admitted that the scenario was truly exhausting to understand and suggests Mercedes had not acquired nearly as good an understanding of issues because it has now.

“Every part over these two years which now we have seen factors that there needs to be rather more downforce than we consider it’s,” he mentioned. “And now we have measured the downforce and it’s there.

“However we’re simply not in a position to extract the lap day trip of it that we should always, and that the simulations present us. It is not trivial.”

Whereas the aerodynamics of F1 benchmark Crimson Bull have been a component in its success, it’s extensively accepted that the group’s strengths are helped vastly by its experience high quality, with its suspension programs being completely suited to the calls for of the present floor impact automobiles.

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Wolff thinks that key to Mercedes unlocking what is required from its automotive is in guaranteeing that the mechanical elements of the automotive are significantly better aligned with its aero qualities.

“I believe that the automotive is so complicated for us, the place we put it by way of the aero stability and mechanical stability,” he mentioned.

“These two must correlate, and we have adopted a sure trajectory during the last years. We stored delivering circles, and we got here to some extent to say, ‘okay, we have got to do one thing totally different right here.’”

Watch: F1 2024 Japanese Grand Prix Evaluate – Regular Service Resumed

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