RACE DEBRIEF

    Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin says the Silver Arrows have made some positive steps before Miami as they look for solutions to the ongoing bouncing issue on their 2022-spec W13.

    With Lewis Hamilton finishing the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix P13 and George Russell P4, Mercedes didn’t have the ideal weekend – but as their latest Race Debrief video shows, Imola only emphasised their tyre warm-up issues and perpetuated their porpoising problem. However, Shovlin explains that the team have found small solutions that could be implemented as soon as Miami on May 6-8.

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    “Being realistic, we think this will be something we approach in steps rather than one big moment where the whole thing [porpoising] vanishes, but we are seeing encouraging signs.

    “We are hoping to bring parts to the car soon, maybe even Miami, where we can hopefully see progress on this issue.

    “Lots of people are suffering with this problem and we know that lifting the car is a way of alleviating it. A lot of the work that is going on in Brackley has been to understand the phenomenon and whether we can actually control it, whether we can engineer it out of the car.”

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    Shovlin also explains that both Hamilton and Russell continued to struggle with tyre warm-up, an issue only made worse by damp and cold conditions at Imola. However, Russell was also compromised when the team failed to adjust his front wing to account for drying conditions.

    “When we make an adjustment at a pit stop, we actually use an electronic gun that can put a pre-programmed number of turns in there, and we have to do that because the stops have gotten so quick you can no longer make a manual adjustment, where the mechanics on the front wing would count the number of turns,” says Shovlin. “We have a gun that does this and we can programme how many turns we want it to do and it will deliver that.

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    “The issue we had with this particular stop was actually that both guns had got knocked as they went in on the front wing endplate – the front wing endplates on these cars are much bigger – and that had caused the gun to reset.

    “So, it wasn’t so much that anything had broken, it was really one of those issues that was a feature of the changes that we have made on the car; it hadn’t occurred to us before in practice sessions.”

    Russell is fourth and Hamilton seventh in the drivers’ standings – the team a healthy third in the constructors’ championship – with plenty of work to do as Mercedes head to Miami.

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