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Mercedes all at sea as porpoising continues

NEWS STORY
11/05/2022

Following another tough weekend, Toto Wolff admits that the "diva" W13 leaves his team in a quandary as to whether it sticks with its current concept or not.

While the McLaren MP4 13 was to carry Mika Hakkinen to the first of his two titles, Jordan's EJ13 didn't turn out quite so well, the Silverstone-based outfit enjoying one of its worst ever seasons, despite Giancarlo Fisichella's 'fluke' win in Brazil.

Sadly, clearly not suffering triskaidekaphobia, Mercedes took the bold decision to designate its 2022 contender the W13 and as the season progresses the car appears to be a little more Jordan than McLaren.

On Friday in Miami the German team finally appeared to have put its porpoising nightmare behind it, or at least lessen its impact.

Next day however, and for the remainder of the weekend, the home of the Miami Dolphins saw the W13's porpoising return with a vengeance.

Just five races in, Mercedes appears to be at a crossroads, and moving forward Toto Wolff is unsure whether to persist with the current concept or follow the example of McLaren in 2004 and start over.

"I wouldn't discount anything," admits the Austrian. "But we need to give all of our people that have produced great race cars in the past the benefit of the doubt and we believe this is the route to go."

Admitting that the W13 is "clearly much slower on paper", Wolff adds "we need to find out how we can make the current car work predictably for the drivers."

With Lewis Hamilton insisting that the car hasn't improved since Bahrain, the quandary facing the team is whether to continue with its minimalistic approach to its sidepods or return to the original concept as used in pre-season testing in Spain.

"Barcelona is definitely going to be a point in time where we are able to correlate with what we saw in February and gather more data," he says.

"I'm also annoyed about saying the same thing about gathering data and making experiments, but it's physics not mystics, and therefore you have to unpick the data."

Adding to the team's headache is the fact that the inability to recreate the porpoising in simulations is leading to correlation issues.

"We're not looking at the lady next door if we like it more or not, because it's still good," he says. "We need to understand, before we make a decision on another concept, where did this one go wrong? And what is the goodness of the concept and what is the badness of the concept?

"We've been straight from the beginning, flying in the fog a little bit," the Austrian admits. "It's clear there's potential in the car and she's fast, but we just don't understand how to unlock the potential.

"It's a car that is super difficult to drive on the edge, dipping in and out of the performance window more out than in," he adds. "And discussing the data with a scalpel is just a painful process because it takes very long.

"As a matter of fact, the data sometimes doesn't show what the drivers tell us. Certainly they have their hands full with a car that is just not at all comfortable, nice or predictable to drive. But the data doesn't show any of these big swings.

"We haven't had this situation before in any of the years," he sighs, "that it just didn't correlate on the screens what the driver feels and that is just making it even more difficult.

"We would be asking ourselves to get an answer after Barcelona, because that's the real correlation we have. And by then, we will look at ourselves in the mirror and say, did we get it wrong or not?"

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1. Posted by kenji, 11/05/2022 22:53

"













@JCR....'He's absolutely correct' When this car was conceived there was a special device that had to be activated before racing.Internally it was known as ' LIM' [ Less is More ]' and it was the key to the obliteration of all other combatants race by race. This device was located out of sight by all except the driver and was concealed inside a locked box with just ONE key taped to the outside. Somehow that 'key' was either lost or stolen! Ever since the first race they, Mercedes, have been looking for it, with zero success. It can't be replicated because the activation code attached was encrypted. Ever since then the team have been travelling in ever diminishing circles in a , so far, negative space and we all know what the end result of that exercise is!!! Eventually, as the team disappear one by one we'll be faced with only the GOAT and Wolff . That pair will drive off into the sunset as we enter a new and exciting era of F1.




"

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2. Posted by jcr, 11/05/2022 13:53

"" my team dont make mistakes " Sir Hammi.
But He never told Toto."

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3. Posted by Tardis40, 11/05/2022 2:04

"Nothing lasts forever"

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4. Posted by kenji, 10/05/2022 22:33

"
When the cream of Mercedes aero/engineering can't fix the problems then surely it's time to fess up? The problem as I see it is that whilst it doesn't work as they thought it would, the solution, if there is one, will impose some rather heavy costs which, under the cost cap, might just be too big a stretch for this current year. That's good for F1 as it allows the other teams, who didn't try and re invent the wheel, reap some overdue rewards for their excellence in interpretation of the new rules. My best guess is that Mercedes will claw back some ground with a 'mix n match' if that's even possible? As for the titles, well they are looking rather unobtainable ATM....great news for the other nine teams."

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5. Posted by Apexing, 10/05/2022 16:13

"They do seem to be floundering at the moment..."

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6. Posted by kdxrider, 10/05/2022 13:54

"And I didn't see the massive porpoising this weekend either, nor on the Ferrari ---"

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7. Posted by kdxrider, 10/05/2022 13:50

"It seems to me that the car is more affected by air density rather than air pressure. The few times they have raced right at sea level in hot conditions, they haven't done too bad."

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8. Posted by Superbird70, 10/05/2022 13:12

"Slower on paper. Isn't it supposed to be faster in the engineer's fantasy world?"

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9. Posted by KKK, 10/05/2022 12:53

"Im surprised its taking so long for Toto to realise that the W13 is a lame duck. Sack the designers who came up with the idea and start fresh."

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10. Posted by Max Noble, 10/05/2022 10:12

"@Toto - The lady next door IS Miss Physics. And no, she does not roll the bones. Talk about mixing your metaphors in a most amusing manner. Miss Physics, and the Tipsy Nymphs, are still drinking Vodka and Red Bull - sorry…"

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