Mercedes’ Imola upgrades won’t bring “ground-breaking” improvement – Hamilton

2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Mercedes have brought a series of upgrades for their car this weekend but Lewis Hamilton says they are unlikely to transform its performance.

Mercedes will run changes to their diffuser, sidepod inlets and lower rear deflector endplates at this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

The team have languished up to one second per lap off their rivals in the opening races of 2022. They have suffered especially from the ‘porpoising’ problem which has affected most teams to different degrees.

Some of the changes Mercedes will run this weekend are aimed at altering the performance of the diffuser, which has a strong influence on the ‘porpoising’ effect. Hamilton said he isn’t expecting a drastic change in the car’s performance as a result of the updates but “every time I get in the car I’m hoping that it’ll feel better.”

“Ultimately it’s fundamentally still the same car,” he continued. “I know everybody in the factory has been working hard over Easter to try to bring event the smallest bits of improvement to the car. We don’t have anything that’s ground-breaking that’s going to change our result but I hope that we do move slightly forward.”

After three of 23 planned races this year, Hamilton remains confident Mercedes will solve their problems with the W13.

“There’s a long way to go. You’ve seen in the previous year how much happens in a season. Still so many races to go, there’s still time for us to turn this around, there’s still time for us to fix this car and extract the full potential. I know that all the team are working flat-out to try to achieve that.”

Team principal Toto Wolff recently put the team’s chances of winning the championship this year at “two to eight”. Hamilton agrees their victory prospects are increasingly remote.

“I’m no mathematician so I don’t know what the percentage chances are but it’s definitely tough, it’s a tall order, that’s for sure.”

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Mercedes’ Imola upgrades

As described in document supplied by Mercedes to FIA:

ComponentReason for changeNature of changeHow the update works
Sidepod InletPerformance – Flow ConditioningWe have added a third chassis side turning vane ahead of the sidepod inlet.These vanes improve the air flow quality into the sidepod radiator duct and therefore improve the overall cooling of the car.
Sidepod InletPerformance – Flow ConditioningRe-profiled upper SIS shroud and mirror housingThese geometry changes have been introduced in order to remove small areas of separated air flow, and by doing so we improve air flow to the rear of the car.
DiffuserPerformance – Local LoadReduced floor edge curl ahead of rear tyre.This area of the floor has been modified in order to remove a small area of air flow separation and improve flow in the diffuser, which results in an increase of rear load.
Rear CornerPerformance – Local LoadTweak to lower deflector endplate.This modification generates increased local load on the lower deflector inside the rear wheels, which in turn increases overall diffuser load.

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2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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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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    4 comments on “Mercedes’ Imola upgrades won’t bring “ground-breaking” improvement – Hamilton”

    1. Cool article, especially the table at the end with the changes and justifications.

      @keithcollantine is this information mandatory for all teams when they bring changes or by choice?

      It would be awesome if we can get a roundup of all changes from all teams at each GP, maybe with some awesome technical analysis alongside?

      1. It is mandatory, but the way the text is written varies by teams. I think RBR had something like “Front wing creates downforce” while Mercedes has these in-depth explanations.

    2. Isn’t this part of the ‘show and tell’ that takes place on Thursday? Hasn’t worked very well as some go the Merc route with a lot of detail and some just go for the ‘all new parts comply with current regulations’ and leave it at that.

    3. Tracking Craig Scarborough in his various avatars on websites and YouTube shows across the internet (has he been cloned?!) don’t Mercedes need one of those flexible bouncy noses Ferrari have? Seems it helps dampen the purpoising.

    Comments are closed.