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Wolff "really proud" of those sidepods

NEWS STORY
10/03/2022

Whilst Mercedes might face possible protests over its approach to the 2022 regulations, Toto Wolff insists he is "really proud" of his team's solution and confident it is 'street legal'.

"I think we are really proud of what we have achieved in terms of concept,” the Austrian told the media at today's official press conference, “but now we need to make it go fast.

"It's a development direction that we like," he continued, "it's about fine tuning the car, so we are experimenting a lot, as we've done during the day, and approaching it with curiosity.

"There are issues that are Bahrain-specific,” he added. “It's very hot, you see a lot of cars still bouncing, some on the straights, others through the corners, so it's a tuning question. And we haven't really looked at performance data yet.”

Referring to the sidepods and specifically their legality, he said: “The process is very clear. When you go in a specific development direction that you deem as having the FIA a part of scrutinising it, you are exchanging CAD data. You're making them part of the process.

"It's clear that sometimes when you come with an innovation, it creates the kind of debate that we're having here," he continued. "That's why that was expected. We have the new governance with the super majority that's needed.

"My opinion is that I would have preferred to stay with the old system," he added, referring to the fact that rules can be 'adjusted' during the course of the season with only the agreement of 80% of the teams following a revision of the sport's governance, "and if a team comes up with an innovation, possibly you can't take it off the car if it's compliant with the regulations.

"I think the FIA and Formula 1 will for sure handle that with diligence, in the spirit of the sport. We were keen in not running alone with that, but being in touch with the FIA, that's why I think it will be okay."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Bahrain, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by MossMan, 12/03/2022 12:57

"@dejan - I saw AlphaTauri (I think) using a similar kit, but not sure what your point is - I was just saying that if they're measuring the incoming air to that detail then they're obviously callibrating some complicated aero modelling around the sidepods."

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2. Posted by dejan, 11/03/2022 18:29

"@Mossman - the large test kit behind the front wheels is indeed an array of sensors but the other teams are also using similar ones (you need to look at some of the other pictures).

In general testing is a game and until P1 (or even Q1) you might not have a very clear idea of which team was sandbagging and who was showing their real pace. All cars have up to 20kg of sensors onboard to monitor different parameters and once they are removed you see the real performance"

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3. Posted by MossMan, 11/03/2022 10:35

"@hydro - I can take a punt... I imagine that the radiators themselves are much larger than the visible inlet - the bodywork noticeably flares out quite quickly further back. I imagine that the outflow is integrated into the rear diffuser or maybe even underfloor - somewhere where there is quite low pressure. The result would be a venturi effect sucking a lot of high-speed air through the (conventionally large) radiators in the middle.

I'm surprised no-one seems to mention the large piece of test-kit they mounted behind the front wheels... that is a grid of pitot-tubes measuring pressure & speed of the air just ahead of the sidepod area, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if the whole cooling tunnel is designed not only for cooling but to alter aero effects by e.g. assisting generation of vortices controlling the underfloor stall (to improve downforce and prevent porpoising)."

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4. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 11/03/2022 9:32

"Does anyone know why these sidepods could be illegal?"

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5. Posted by Superbird70, 11/03/2022 3:33

"Is it possible that Mercedes developed two body styles in parallel? The one revealed at launch and this one? One for high downforce circuits and one for low downforce circuits. It seems a lot of effort to put into a dummy body just to evolve so rapidly."

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6. Posted by hydro, 10/03/2022 21:52

"Incredible difference in air intake area, and even more importantly, radiator area! How can they get the heat rejection?? it'a all very well to expose Xmm^2 of radiator to oncoming airflow, but you also have to offer more exit area to minimise pressure drop.. Can someone explain how this is achieved? I understand they use saddle coolers and hug the ICE, etc mounted higher, but a 1000bhp powertrain needs to move a SHEDLOAD of air to stay at operating temp. "

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7. Posted by oilburner, 10/03/2022 21:36

"@meatball 100% agree. Stunning innovation.
Truthfully, over the years the top 3-4 have all had their moments in the sun for their innovations and (assuming TW's comments about FIA/F1 involvement and consent are true) hope this isn't put down due to jealousies. The Horner/RBR moment today was downright bizarre. RBR haven't covered themselves in glory this year and the season hasn't even begun. Marko talks more about Hamilton than he even says about Max. Christian had his poorly-advised misogynistic radio comment, and now today ostensibly quoted saying he thought it illegal only for RBR to deny he said that at all. There WC's, 1st or 2nd strongest team on the grid, maybe just stay quiet and focus on the job."

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8. Posted by Endre, 10/03/2022 19:40

"I don't understand why is everyone only talking about the Mercedes sidepods. I was watching the session all day and if anything, Williams' sidepods are even smaller. The only difference is that the air intake on Williams is horizontal, while on the Mercedes vertical."

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9. Posted by Defiant, 10/03/2022 19:17

"@meatball. couldn't agree more."

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10. Posted by meatball, 10/03/2022 17:27

"not always fan of Merc, but their approach to the engineering is remarkable. These sidepods are fantastic. it would be a real shame if true innovation and intelligent interpretation of the rules was overruled simply because the other teams couldn't think of it first. But this wouldn't be the first time a smart design gets bullied out of the paddock."

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