Mercedes W13: a technical puzzle that can be solved in Miami?

F1 – The Imola Grand Prix It had a sweet and sour taste to it mercedes. In the semi-sport disaster Lewis Hamilton Balances the performance of capital, the other, through George Russell Which, in the other of his four seasons, is within fifth, proving to be the category pass. Of course, not all that glitters is gold. on the banks Santerno there W13 His performance was far from good and it took a series of favorable conditions to obtain the pilot Lin from Kyng Catch 12 Precious and Unexpected Points.

The car designed by the team Brackley He suffered from the usual problems related to aerodynamic pumping. But this time, a new difficulty crept in that the engineers could have gladly done without having to contend with: Thermal management of tires in cold track conditions. During Friday’s qualifying, it appeared in a rather brutal fashion, forcing drivers to watch the third quarter from the garage. These are tough days for AMG F1 And, you know, problems never go alone.

Lewis Hamilton in Imola, Mercedes AMG F1

Imola has put three issues on the board that Mercedes is working on: porpoises (now classic), tire activationAnd Difficulty staying awake. Let’s start from this last aspect. On the road that rises on the hills around the river Santerno W13 was particularly sensitive to what Andrew Shovlin did, Trackside Engineer Anglo-German group, select “DRS Train”.

HamiltonAfter the pit stopped, I stayed packed behind AlphaTauri from Pierre Gasly Although a movable wing can be used. Which even a Frenchman can do, constantly lags less than a second Williams FW 44 from Alex Albon. A machine that managed to naturally develop very interesting top speeds. Certainly superior to W13 and for AT03.

Forming a path that has very few sections full gas And the only point DR It actually eliminated the half-second advantage that the device gives when it’s on. there he is Hamilton Try in vain to get rid of the uncomfortable fourteenth pizza. The difficulties are also exacerbated by the fact that a single-seat dancer is under braking and is not effective in traction: flexibility compared to the Faenza single-seat is evident at these stages.

Technical problems endemic to the project W13 Which leads directly to the navigation linking performance which, according to the engineers, would be very different from current offerings if the machine did not continue to change its position based on the compression/decompression phases generated by the graduation.

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W13

This phenomenon is common among people who sit with one seat on the net, but what makes it “fatal” for Mercedes W13 It is the activation frequency and speed. If we look at Ferrari F1-75, the car you are still struggling with, we note that the oscillation is less “synchronous”. So you can better manage the shaking motion that disappears at medium speeds. That’s why creature David Sanchez It is also effective in medium speed sections. Which he can’t do silver arrow that begin to jump at slower speeds, seriously amplifying the wave as the speed increases.

In the Australian Grand Prix The phenomenon was quite evident in Curves 9 and 10. The car was pumping at full power and had a sudden change of direction to the right. In Albert Park T3 alone Hamilton and Russell lost more than six tenths. 70% of the total deficit was paid for in the championship role first place Obtained from Charles Leclerc. It goes without saying that without resolving this dynamic, the car will not always be able to allow drivers to extract the potential and feel comfortable.

Behavior is unpredictable: based on the phases of ascent and descent, the car suddenly changes its characteristics: from over-steering (high rear end and less pronounced Venturi effect) to under-steering (low rear end with relative maximum vertical thrust generation). That’s why in mercedes They grapple with a real engineering challenge: the world champions face unprecedented problems that consume a lot of energy.

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Mercedes, on the occasion of the Imola GP, has added a deflector to push the air along the bottom of the chassis

Until now, British experts carefully studied the behavior of cars without falling into the “unbridled modernization frenzy”. Something that is impossible to do when falling into a trap budget ceiling Restrictions on working hours will bite fierce. But it’s time to act.

After excluding the upstream, the return to the more traditional configuration seen a Barcelonaat mercedes I prepared a program Update Improvements already started Imola Where we saw modifications to the details in the area of ​​​​the anti-intrusion cones (new shape) under which the fins appeared and which had the task of revitalizingwashing effect (See image above). at Emilia Romagna Small changes have also been made to the floor, in the area just ahead of the rear wheels. On the other hand, the rear wing used is the one that appeared in it Grandmother which has now become the norm.

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Pavilion comparison for Mercedes W13: above the design used in Bahrain, and below the design used in Jeddah and Melbourne

Subtle changes in aerodynamics suit a larger, more gradual programme. At Brackley, they continue to believe that the philosophy on which they founded the automobile is effective. The Concept It has been studied in recent months, and has attempted to enhance the search for top speed by reducing the volume it can generate pull. An unsuccessful attempt so far due to the abnormal heights from the ground to which the vehicle is traveling.

But it may also be caused by overexposure of unprotected rear tires by leaner bellies as occurs in cars that are now objectively more efficient such as Red Bull RB18 instead of Ferrari F1-75. Moreover, it is also power unit which may have been overestimated in the overall thrust necessary to make up for the very generous rear wing that becomes almost mandatory to try to reclaim those points down force They are missing from the bad job fund for the above reasons.

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The question is complex and simple at the same time: W13 does not work the way it was designed to. The car operates at higher asphalt altitudes than it was designed for. This results in a significant loss of performance. For a month and a half this dynamic was investigated in the factory where there was a certain difficulty in linking data between the track and IT systems.

A novelty for a team that built its fortune on this process. After four rounds of stowing and managing evidence, a small light at the end of the tunnel begins to appear. Encouraging signs have suggested that since then you love Me Some fresh news can come to understand if the technicians have been steered on the right path.

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Layout of the new Miami circuit

Barcelona The grand prize was to be to view the full package of Update. And so it will be. But some solutions are expected you love Me Which, although it is a new track and therefore does not offer any terms of comparison, has three high-speed sections in which the effectiveness of anti-porpoises Presented (To know the characteristics of the new American circuit click here). at mercedes They know that solving problems will not come overnight. It’s a thoughtful, incremental, staged race that could thrillingly bring the team back into play that is currently navigating extremely challenging waters.

The next two races will be very important because in mercedes They say they are confident in keeping the steps on hand. when wolf Speaking of finding the key in the car’s understanding refers to an aerodynamic solution that allows eliminating porpoises on the car without violating the aerodynamic concept”Zero side by sideThe second solution Shovelin Existing. We’ll see.

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Disagreement aspects of the Mercedes W13

said from porpoises And the difficulties of managing the racing stages in which the car is involved in the wake of others, remains the third question that emerged from Imola: difficulty in Management Thermal insulation of Pirelli roofs. pre-existing Australia there W13 She needed two rounds of Heating before departure on time. This happened at relatively high temperatures. to imolaEspecially on Friday when the asphalt did not touch 20°C, the problem took the form of an impassable mountain. With the results we know very well.

This aspect is what worries the world champions the least, because they consider it primarily the result of two circumstances. The first is clearly the Emilia-Romagna thermal anomaly that will not be encountered consistently throughout the year. Second, and most importantly, temperature is an undesirable effect of the formulations that the vehicle is forced to use to deal with porpoises. Once this defect is fixed, this whole series of related afflictions should be gone.

That’s why in mercedes They continue to feed a glimmer of hope in bringing back the meaning of the season. It is estimated that the chronometer’s gain would be very sensitive because without vibrations and with proper fittings, layout With pointed bellies he will begin to show all the virtues observed in the simulation and in the exhibition. The big question that remains unresolved so far is whether this is the case Three pointed stars He will be able to free himself from difficulties. The next two races should definitely answer that question.


F1 – Author: Diego Catalano – Lord save her

picture: F1And Mercedes AMG F1And Albert Fabrega

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