Elliott: The team fell into a trap last year

Elliott: The team fell into a trap last year

Mercedes chief technical officer Mike Elliott admitted that the team has fallen into something of a trap when moving to a new technical regulation that uses ground effect to create downforce.

Last year, Mercedes had problems with the W13 car, especially at the start of the season, and George Russell was only able to win the Brazilian Grand Prix towards the end of the championship. This year there are clearly fewer difficulties, but the team does not always manage to make the car drive sufficiently stable, even during the days of the Belgian race weekend, a tendency to build the chassis vertically at high speeds again appeared.

“If you remember the old technical regulations, those cars could be configured however you wanted,” Elliott is quoted by RacingNews365. – They had a fairly large suspension travel, which allowed optimal balance when cornering. You were not limited by the stiffness of the suspension and it was possible to select such settings in which the aerodynamic kit worked with the required efficiency.

But the aerodynamic characteristics of the new generation of cars are such that they require minimum ground clearance. And for the car to work with such settings, the suspension has to be stiff – to be honest, this is one of those traps we fell into last year. Since cars now require very little ground clearance, how do you find the right balance?

In addition, with the current limitations on aerodynamic research, we can only carry out a certain number of tests in a wind tunnel – this is not enough to correctly determine and follow the direction of development.

In general, there are enough difficulties. If you decide that in order to offer everything you need to develop one car that will be configured for increased ground clearance, and the second for a small amount of clearance, then suddenly it turns out that you can work with each of the two models in a wind tunnel with only three sessions per week. So you won’t get anywhere.

Therefore, it is necessary to choose one direction and correct it to some extent during work. But now I want to think that we still found the right approach.

Source: F1 News

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