F1 News: Mercedes Still in “Trial and Error” Phase Ahead Of Miami GP
It goes without saying Mercedes have had a difficult start this year, finding themselves significantly behind the current front-runners Red Bull and Ferrari.
However, given this is the first season with these new regulations, there has been optimism that the Silver Arrows can recover the lost ground. There has been intense interest throughout the season regarding the upgrades being brought in by teams, and the impact they will have.
Mercedes, however, have had difficulties this year with making their upgrades work, citing correlation issues as one of their biggest obstacles this season. Indeed, their failure to translate the data from the wind tunnel onto the race track has been a significant issue.
Toto Wolff admitted to autosport.com that Mercedes are still unsure about the correct steps to take, and are still in a phase of “trial and error”:
“I think we’re trying to find a solution that not only fixes the bouncing. You can patch up the floor and make it stiffer, but you lose downforce and at least make the car more stable, but that’s not the direction we’re going.
“You can’t replicate the bouncing that we see on track in the windtunnel. And therefore, it’s like in the old days, it’s a little bit of trial and error, what does it actually do in real life?”
The Mercedes Team Principal also admitted that every weekend will be “a little bit of a live experiment” as they look to understand their issues, particularly with porpoising.
It would be unfair to suggest that Mercedes haven’t shown glimpses of pace this season, having taken podium finishes courtesy of both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell this season.
However, there is a sense that their current deficit will be too great to overcome and even if Mercedes are successful in bridging the gap, they will have a lot of points to recover.
Miami will ultimately provide Mercedes with another opportunity to recover, but with time running out, they have very little margin for error.