Mercedes F1 track engineering director Andrew Shovlin believes the W13 is the one “so annoying” as it gives the team an idea of what it can achieve in performance, but still lacks consistency.
The German team recorded its best result of the season in Hungary just before the break: George Russell took a fantastic position, the first of his career and the first for the silver arrow in 2022, before he and his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, both to finish podium the next day, like in France.
This apology from the Briton was a real surprise because so far, the W13 has not been able to fight for the front row regularly this season.
“This car has been so annoying because it gives us such a glimpse of its true level of performance, that it’s hard for us to let go of it,” explained Shovlin.
“From an engineering point of view it’s a difficult car. And some of our problems are obviously that we don’t have enough power, we have to find more and that’s right. for power. But in general, it’s a sign that we ” are going in the right direction. Two podiums, a pole position, these are results we could not have dreamed of earlier this year. encouraging, we seem to be making progress.”
Mercedes F1 believes in its “no pontoon” concept.
If the W13 lacks downforce, it’s largely because Mercedes was forced to raise its height to reduce the harsh rebound that has long plagued it and its drivers. And now that the problem seems to be solved, the German team is doing everything possible to make its “non-pontoon” concept work as well as possible, and some engineers are convinced of its potential thanks to the results obtained in the wind tunnel.
“I think it’s been helpful to see that this thin chassis is able to play in the race. It’s definitely something we use as a basis for our development. We’ll be more efficient if we work with what we have, instead of trying to copy someone else’s design.”
“It’s not like we say “OK, we’ll follow this road forever”, we’re talking clearly about what we want for the car, what we’ve proven is a development path that currently allows us to get the best results and that seems capable of leading us to victory this year. doubt that the path we are following is the right one to improve our performance.”
“But the pontoon is only part of the general problems we had to solve. There are still three races we were bouncing everywhere, in Montreal, Baku or Monaco.”
“Now when our riders talk about going back it’s because they felt it at some point in the corner. It was noticeable by its absence. And we were able to improve our current package, which is a good sign.
Shovlin added that Mercedes did not see the need to get inspiration from a rival car, as Aston Martin F1 did with the Red Bull concept.
“If you make your car look like someone else’s, you’re going to lose performance in the short term. Maybe there will be a long-term benefit, but in terms of our car from this year, I think we have a good idea. what we want to do with it and how much additional performance we can get from it. We are excited to think about what we will bring in the next race.”