While Formula 1 heads to Monza this weekend to compete in the Italian Grand Prix, Mercedes F1 could have a tough weekend as its W13 is not well suited to circuits that require a lot of top speed.
It may be that the German team is less efficient than at Zandvoort last week, but Toto Wolff, with a sense of humour, has clearly found the best solution for that.
“We are thinking of removing the rear wings so that we are not vulnerable in a straight line,” joked the Austrian leader.
“We have a car that produces a lot of air intake and we won’t need low power at this circuit. That’s something we hope we can change quickly with a focus on next year, we’re learning the hard way. At the moment.”
“And I think on some of the remaining circuits this year, especially in qualifying, it’s something that will punish us. It’s better in the race because as we saw at Spa, there wasn’t a big difference in the straight.”
Is Mercedes F1 less efficient than Zandvoort but better than at Spa?
Andrew Shovlin, director of track engineering, is less ambitious than his boss.
“We can use smaller fins there, we’ll have a little bit of a deficit and we’re hoping that some of the specific issues we had in the Business on the dunes shouldn’t affect us.”
“We can put the car in the best working window. However, the Red Bull seems very efficient, it is fast on the straight and it is fast in the corners and those issues seem to be more important for us when we go to the lower tracks.”
“It’s hard to say exactly where we will be: maybe not as strong as we were in Zandvoort but hopefully nowhere as difficult as Spa.”
A couple of laps should be good for the W13 at the end of the season
And although Monza is more difficult, Mercedes believe there will be other circuits where they can get more power from their car before the end of the season.
“There are always several factors involved,” continues Shovlin.
“One of them is that we developed the car, trying to solve a few issues that we had at the beginning of the season and over time we grew faster and faster.”
“However, you saw at Spa that we struggled especially on one lap and we have discovered some areas of development that make it difficult to make it work at its best on those tracks. At Spa we had to raise the car a bit. , we struggled with it due to the bumps certain and the result was that it cost us performance.”
“At Zandvoort the car was easier to put in the right window. It drove well, it didn’t jump over the bumps. It gave the drivers confidence, they could push it and really we probably had our weekend. The end of the most competitive qualifying conditions and races of the year.”
“It was very encouraging, and we will have more good rounds to come.”