Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Baku Street Circuit, 2022

Mercedes will continue ‘experiments’ with car fixes at next race in Canada

2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Mercedes expect to have a better idea what the best long-term solution is for their car problems after next week’s Canadian Grand Prix.

The team is using race weekends as opportunities to gather information about its car in order to solve the porpoising problems they have suffered since the start of the season. Team principal Toto Wolff admitted the lack of opportunities to conduct in-season testing is “slowing us down a lot” in their research.

“I imagine if we would have a day or two of testing we would make a big step,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans after qualifying yesterday. “But it is what it is, that’s the constraint for everybody.”

The team is instead using race weekends to conduct experiments with different parts and set-ups. Wolff said yesterday the differences between their cars explains why Lewis Hamilton has not been on his team mate’s pace over the last three weekends.

That approach will continue when F1 goes to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada next week. “I think we just need to approach the race weekends more from an experimental side,” said Wolff. “We are, at the moment, not in the hunt for a race win on merit. I think we are a good [way] behind the top teams.

“We just need to see those sessions, maybe not with the view of optimising the single session, but with a view of understanding. This is what we are doing and this is what we are going to do tomorrow and in Montreal.”

The team began to get a handle on its porpoising problem in Spain, said Wolff, but further gains are needed.

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“We made a really good step in Barcelona,” he said. “For a circuit with a smooth surface, less bumps, we’re fine, I think we have a good car and we are able to unlock the performance in the race, but in quali we were lacking a bit.

(L to R): Sergio Perez, Red Bull; Charles Leclerc, Ferrari; Baku Street Circuit, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix qualifying day in pictures
“But that is easy to explain because we’ve had now two months that we were trying to solve the porpoising and not being able to add baseline performance and that bites us a bit. For us we understand: We understand what’s going on, we understand also what we need to do.

“It means in a way, Montreal is a really good race for us next week because Montreal is bouncy, Montreal is high kerb ride and after Montreal I expect to have a better view.”

Wolff believes the experiments they are performing will reveal what is the best long-term development direction for the troubled W13 project.

“I think we know what the root cause of our lack of performance is, but we don’t have the answers yet of what the best solution will be,” he said. “And this is what we are experimenting [with] at the moment.

“I still think there’s a short-term fix that’s making us much more competitive, but it might not explain everything, and I’d like to get the car in the right position for the second half of the year and also for next year. So the learning is more key than short-term optimisation for a weekend.”

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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8 comments on “Mercedes will continue ‘experiments’ with car fixes at next race in Canada”

  1. Oh great, more moaning that they have “a good car” but cannot “unlock its potential”, and that if only the physics of this universe changed (or, alternatively the FIA changes the rules of F1), they’d be dominating as per usual.

    Mercedes should get on with building a quicker car. This nonsense is just embarrassing for an 8-times-WCC.

    1. The nonsense is from fans who don’t understand what is going on…. Mercedes have essentially abandoned this season and are using it to test potential ideas for next year. Sometimes the “experiments” won’t result in a faster car but they’re gathering huge amounts of data that they will use for the redesigned 2023 car. Sometimes the experiments will make the car much worse but if they can establish exactly when the car porpoises and exactly when it doesn’t, they’ve cracked the code…..

      Red Bull already have a car that works so they’re in good shape. Ferrari are quick but they’re not doing much to resolve the bouncing issue…. It’ll be interesting to see their positions next year.

      1. All correct, and I don’t mind them trying.

        I do mind them selling their current crapwagon as “a good car*.” (*if only it were not for the current configuration of local space time)

        I’m sure Williams would be happy to have such “a good car”, unfortunately, this is Mercedes we’re talking about, and for them and their goals, this is not “a good car,” as anyone looking at the results of this season so far can see.

  2. And the myth of hamilton being a top driver continues to be destroyed while merc continue to look for excuses rather than face facts(like toto seems to do when under the smallest amount of pressure).

    But this is more embarrassing for alfa of all people, as they hired a driver who is currently miles behind the guy who constantly got battered by an average at best driver

    1. How could you criticize Sauber and their main man and superhero Frederic Vasseur, fighting for all things just in the world, especially the right to sell their second seat to a guy with a huge sponsorship package?

    2. Don’t pretend that you know exactly what Mercedes and their drivers are doing.

  3. Chris Horton
    13th June 2022, 8:29

    Great, experiment by raising the ride height.

  4. All their statements and actions are a lobby for a rule change. All of them. And I predict they will succeed.

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