Mercedes F1 leader “I didn’t recognize porpassing as a big problem”[F1-Gate.com]

Mercedes F1 says it didn’t think the W13 was “in a bad place” after the first pre-season test at Barcelona in 2022 had already revealed problems with porpoising.

Mercedes F1 marked the top time at the Spanish Grand Prix venue with an early development package. This was on a car with a drastic change in ride height and the addition of metal floor stays that were not designed to run under F1’s technical regulations and are not considered legal.

But Mercedes F1’s trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said the porpassing problem was spotted at the Silverstone shakedown amid rainstorm Eunice two weeks ago and continued in Barcelona, ​​but the W13 has been unable to continue. He said he wasn’t too worried because he hadn’t run the car in race mode yet.

At the second Bahrain test, the Mercedes W13 was heavily transformed thanks to its high-profile ‘zeropod’ sidepod design. (Floorstays remained and were subsequently declared legal by the FIA ​​and used by some teams until the end of the season)

But here Mercedes’ 2022 campaign proved to be even worse with the W13’s porpassing, which could not be resolved until the team introduced its first major upgrade at the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

It was later revealed that Mercedes also had problems with suspension stiffness on the bumps, although the aerodynamic issues with the porpassing had been resolved.

This secondary issue and the work to improve it prevented the Mercedes F1 team from making the W13 faster until further development in Austin later in the season.

“At Silverstone (for shakedown) we were in the middle of a storm, the worst conditions I’ve ever driven a car in,” Shovlin told Autosport.

“Then you can’t do a very clear and sensible shakedown on filming day.

“But that car, the car that we took to Barcelona afterwards, could have porpassing, and given the weather and the first run of the car, the car was in any case very high. was running

“When we lowered the ride height to a more normal level at Silverstone, we found that this was happening, but we didn’t really know what was causing it.

“So we went to Barcelona to understand: ‘How can we get the car to run? What is the problem? How can we mitigate what was happening with Porpassing?’

“At the time, the best thing you could do was lift the car off the ground, give up performance and manage it that way.”

“That car was defined much earlier in the development programme, much earlier than the race one package.”

“But the problem was… when I was in Barcelona I was thinking ‘we’re not the fastest but I don’t think we’re in a bad place’. I hope we add good performance with that Bahrain package. Was”

“The problem was that when we installed it, the porpoise was on a whole other level. We had to lift the car further and we couldn’t get rid of the bouncing at that point, so the performance we were going to add. Most didn’t work.”

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Category: F1 / mercedes

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