Formula 1 Racing

Mercedes ‘changed everything but haven’t solved fundamental issue’

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2024

Mercedes still haven’t mastered the latest technical regulations despite making many changes to their car design over the last two years, says team principal Toto Wolff.

The team abandoned its previous concept soon after its 2023 car was launched and produced the extensively revised W15 for this year. However after the first three races they are fourth in the championship.

Wolff said the team’s cars have not lived up to the predictions made by their simulations under the current rules.

“I think we’ve lost our way at the beginning of ’22 because all our tools and systems [previously] gave us cars that were winning championships every single year,” he told Fox at the Australian Grand Prix. “Then the new regulations were very much around the ground effect, that means all the suction happens through the floor, and we came out with a car that showed all the promise in the data and in the wind tunnel, but it didn’t deliver.

“Since then we’ve changed everything: The layout, the suspension, the drivers’ position, the gearboxes. But it seems that the fundamental issue is, at the core, we haven’t solved that.”

Last year’s Mercedes failed to win a race last year and its predecessor only took a single victory. Wolff said the W15 is only a slight improvement over their previous two cars.

“It’s a little bit the same since two years,” he said. “I think this one is the best of the bad.

“It’s a better platform to work on but it’s still not a car that a driver feels really good about throwing in the corner at 200 miles an hour.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

The car appears to be especially susceptible to changes in temperature. Lewis Hamilton was pleased with its balance in final practice at Albert Park, then failed to reach Q3 a few hours later.

“After FP3… he said that the car is the best in three years,” said Wolff. “He had so much rear downforce and he feels confident.

“We didn’t change the car a lot. The track temperature changed by five degrees, believe it or not, so that’s nothing, and the car transformed from something that was the best in three years to something that is undriveable.”

“We are looking at everything and there’s something which our technology is not showing us because this window of performance is so narrow where the aero works or it doesn’t,” he added. “The wind picked up in the afternoon, that plays a role but we haven’t really been able to pinpoint it.”


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at RaceFans…