George Russell, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022

Mercedes “haven’t made a huge amount of progress yet” – Russell

2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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George Russell does not believe Mercedes’ showing in the Canadian Grand Prix signalled a significant improvement in competitiveness for the team.

Mercedes has endured a tough start to 2022 with its W13. The team claims to have mastered its porpoising problem with the upgrade package it introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix, but they remain well off the pace of the front-running teams.

Russell admitted the team’s pace in the rain-hit qualifying session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve “looked very promising at times”. He often appeared near the top of the times, before sinking to eighth at the end after an ill-judged switch to slick tyres on the drying track.

Nonetheless he believes “the actual pace deficit to the front-running car was still pretty substantial” in qualifying. “So even though it looked on paper a bit of an improvement, we’re still a long way from where we need to be.

“So we haven’t made a huge amount of progress as yet. But we’re still working hard to close the gap.”

The team is continuing to encounter new problems as it improves its understanding of the W13, he said.

“With the overall car we sort of solve one issue and we fall into another trap,” he said. “The porpoising’s been solved but then when you’re running the car closer to the ground, we’re hitting the ground quite aggressively. There doesn’t seem to be any sweet spot at the moment.”

George Russell, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022
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Mercedes ran different set-ups on their cars in the race, Russell using a significantly larger rear wing than team mate Lewis Hamilton for more downforce.

“We’d opted for a big wing on his car going into qualifying to see what we could do in the wet conditions but expected it to be a liability in the race,” explained the team’s head of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin, “However, he was able to use it to attack into the corners and made good progress through the field back to fourth.

“It’s really hard to know what to expect coming to each track with this car but we certainly maximised the opportunity today and we’ve learnt a bit more about the car.

“The team in Brackley and Brixworth will continue to push hard, there’s lots to improve on the car but that can be translated into potential and the race today has given us more encouragement to keep pushing to close that gap.”

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Keith Collantine
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26 comments on “Mercedes “haven’t made a huge amount of progress yet” – Russell”

  1. It seems while all other f1 teams have spending limitations, mercedes has a privilege from FIA to spend as much as possible until they catch up with front runners.
    Bad smells started to come again in the FIA mercedes relationship.

    1. How did you get access to this information?

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        21st June 2022, 12:33

        Hmmm.. I guess they’ll have to publish everyone’s submission at some point after Mercedes pointed out the FIA can’t be trusted to enforce the rules fairly. How do any teams know the FIA haven’t allowed one team to massively overspend?

        1. If so it will be the death of F1.

      2. He made it up, like most of his posts.

    2. hamiledon, the most trusted source in F1

    3. Why do you believe they are spending more? They’ve been experimenting with setup changes, not expensive. They have openly said they are not doing any significant re-design until they understand the problem.

    4. Is there evidence for that?

  2. Binotto basically said it was impossible for Mercedes having second floor just a day after FIA’s technical directive. I agree with him, technical directive can not be interpreted as a new regulation. If second floor was not allowed before, then it should not be allowed after a TD.

    1. There is nothing preventing any teams from preparing and bringing new floors @ruliemaulana. Only the budget cap, CFD/Windtunnel limits and time constraints

    2. Whilst Mercedes may have had alternative floors, this wasn’t about a seond floor but about attaching a second ‘stay’ to anchor the outer skirt of the floor.

      1. +1, smoke is not always a fire.

  3. No, merc have made progress, Lulu is happy.

    1. What a highly intelligent human you are resorting to name calling like a 5 year old back in pre school. Well this Lulu (as you refer to him) is a multi millionaire and will always be remembered as a multiple WDC. With respect to you, who will remember you and for what? Nothing wrong in being critical of him but do it with respect.

  4. With the overall car we sort of solve one issue and we fall into another trap,” he said. “The porpoising’s been solved but then when you’re running the car closer to the ground, we’re hitting the ground quite aggressively.

    Thank you, I’ve been wrote this a million times. Merc is not porpoising in a while hence why I criticized FIA’s directive logic. The ride is poor because the cars are stiff as nails.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      21st June 2022, 12:37

      Yep I’ve been saying the same thing but lots of people (including Lewis, Toto and the lot of Sky) keep referring to porpoising. They solved their porpoising issues in Spain by running the car low and stiff. We then immediately had a run of 3 street circuits which meant the car was bottoming out and hitting the bumps hard.

      They’ll now go off to Silverstone and there will be no porpoising or bouncing. The narrative will be around how “Mercedes have finally fixed their car” when in reality, they fixed it several races ago. There will be shock that their problems have resurfaced when they head to Singapore…

      1. Something is not adding up here to me in what you two are saying. Did you not see Baku? Are you trying to claim at Baku they were merely bottoming out? If so I don’t think so. Did we not see them porpoising at a frequency to which we have become accustomed whenever they have shown us videos of cars porpoising? As to stiffness, they have to be stiff. It’s the nature of making ground effects work and now they have the 18” tires as well. And chassis have always had to be stiff including in the previous eras of cars. You’re saying TW, LH, and Sky don’t know what they are talking about?

        1. They must be on the Mercedes F1 team and have access to privileged information

        2. Porpoising is an aerodynamic oscillation caused by airflow stalling.

          Baku was the result of suspension oscillation, cause by a very bumpy circuit and a very stiffly sprung car– which is why “just raise the ride height” isn’t really a solution to the W13’s issues.

          1. grat Not convinced of that. Do you have any links to support that?

        3. @robbie the quote is mercedes’. They have said this, themselves, the car is not porpoising or not porpoising as much as it did before.
          the mercedes was porpoising a lot in Catalunya pre-season, also a lot at Bahrain even on the high speed corners, also a fair bit at australia, go watch some pre-season Catalunya clips, at that stage the car was even worse than ferrari. Now the car is not porpoising it is just extremely stiff, just compare clips.

          1. @peartree Then FIA needs to mandate for stiffness? Don’t think so. And you’re saying porpoising is within Mercedes ability to control? Then it is within Mercedes to control their problems and they need ask for mid-season rules changes.

          2. @robbie stiffness? no way to control or enforce that, besides that is not a solution, a softer car has to be run higher than a stiffer car in order not to bottom out. The arbitrary measure the fia suggested would not work either, because merc was not porpoising but the ride was atrocious, other teams would end up effectively running their cars like merc to avoid triggering the fia’s target of porpoising and we’d end up with 20 Hamiltons struggling to get out of the car. Nobody on the grid is enjoying the ride of their cars. With the thicker tyre, f1 had a limit to how stiff you could run because the tyre was the lowest common denominator, currently we are back to the early 90’s.
            Frankly the fia cannot implement any change regarding this topic without changing the championship, without changing the rules, and they don’t have the power to do that. The fia requires the teams to agree to any proposed changes to the rules.

      2. Do you say they’re bottoming out on porpoise not due to porpoising?

        1. They are bottoming out because they are running too low and hitting the track surface under load. The fastest a car goes the more load they are under, that means the sidewall gets squished the suspension gets compressed so the cars cannot handle as many bumps as a low speed to make matters worse at higher speeds there is more work for the suspension to deal. You can hear onboard when cars are scrapping and when they’re bottoming.

  5. IMO it’s a bit telling that they still apparently have no clue this far into the season, makes it seem doubtful for their chances of figuring it out the rest of the season, or ever with this car. I’ve said it before but I still can’t help but wonder if losing all those engineering staff has hurt their ability to address their issues, especially under the budget cap.

Comments are closed.