Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Paul Ricard, 2022

Mercedes simulations say Singapore “should be one of our better tracks”

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the team’s simulations indicate the Singapore circuit should suit their W13, though he is wary of making predictions.

In brief

Mercedes think Singapore GP will suit their car

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is trying to avoid making predictions for the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix after the Italian Grand Prix did not meet the expectations he had from the team’s pre-race simulations.

His drivers were fifth and sixth fastest in qualifying, and penalties meant George Russell moved up four places to start on the front row. However he lacked the pace to fight for victory and finished third, while Lewis Hamilton recovered from a penalised 19th on the grid to take fifth place.

The next race in Singapore will see teams switch from minimum to maximum downforce levels. Wolff said “the track layout should suit our car, the bumps not.”

“On the simulations again it says it should be one of our better tracks,” he added. “But I’m trying to stay on the careful side with any predictions for Singapore.”

De Vries cancels UK trip due to travel fiasco

Formula E world champion and recent F1 debutant Nyck de Vries, who is currently being courted by multiple F1 teams, was unable to travel to the UK yesterday due to a problem with his travel documents which he said was related to “Brexit” – Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union last year.

“Got refused on the 7:10am flight to London,” he wrote on social media. “An EU ID is no longer a valid travel document. “My passport is at the embassy for a Japanese visa, second passport expired. UK trip cancelled – going home instead. Early start to the weekend, I guess.”

Alonso proteges set F3 test pace

Gabriel Bortoleto and Pepe Marti, recently signed to Fernando Alonso’s A14 Management firm, were the fastest two drivers on the second day of Formula 3 post-season testing at Jerez. Trident driver Bortoleto caused one of many red flag stoppages during Thursday’s action, but he did also become the first driver to lap sub-1’30.00.

Campos Racing’s Marti did the same before the day’s running was over. Marti topped the afternoon session, which was significantly slower, ahead of Hitech GP’s Gabriele Mini – another driver to bring out the red flags – and Prema’s Paul Aron.

McLaren sign Chelsea director as CCO

Steve Atkins, the long-time director of communications and public affairs at Chelsea football club, has been signed by McLaren as their new chief communications officer.

Over the next few months he will continue in an advisory role at Chelsea, and will officially start his McLaren duties on 1 December. Prior to his 14-year stint at Chelsea, Atkins worked in the British Embassy in the United States and worked on international conflicts.

“Steve is a fantastic leader and brings a wealth of communications experience from sport and government that will prove invaluable in helping us maximise opportunities and navigate any challenges,” said McLaren Racing’s CEO Zak Brown.

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Comment of the day

Following the controversial conclusion to last year’s world championship, then the unpopular safety car ending to the recent Italian Grand Prix, there has been a lot of scrutiny on how the FIA uses the safety car or waves red flags at the end of grands prix. Rules were changed for this to avoid a repeat of what farcical end to the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and paddock figures have warned not to head straight back to the rulebook and makes changes again following the drama of Monza:

I have no issues with races finishing under the safety car when required as defined by the rules and for the safety of all on the circuit. I take issue with races finishing under the safety car though where the reason for it happening seem to be due to the speed of implementing the correct procedures. The annoyance many had with Monza was it seemed there was more than enough time to clear the car off track and have at least a couple of laps of green flag racing but this opportunity was fluffed by several processes failing.

There is absolutely no need to change the rules to ensure a race doesn’t finish under a safety car. Throwing a red flag and restarting neutralizes and devalues the other 90% of the race. Fix the delays and inefficient processes first and then reassess the issue. I’d also like to see specific “safe zones” on circuits for cars to park up where recovery is easier so drivers don’t have to look or guess where is best to park their car.slowmo

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Tisoyjriii, Paul Prinnel and Sujeeth!

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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28 comments on “Mercedes simulations say Singapore “should be one of our better tracks””

  1. I very much agree with COTD and the ‘safe’ zones are a good idea. There just needs to be a better implementation of the rules.

  2. Mercedes on their best tracks may give Ferrari a run for their money by this point, but Red Bull has them easily under control. It’s a much stronger package on every single area.

    If it happens to be a clean race (unlikely, Safety Car seems to be a must this season) Verstappen can dominate just like Vettel did in ’13.

    1. Don’t buy too much into the ‘track should suit us’ stories.
      Mercedes hasn’t been a fan of bumps and heat. Singapore is.

      1. It has been a fan of heat and it’s probably better on the bumps since it sorted it’s porpoising

        1. Do we know they’ve sorted the porpoising though @moshambles? Since Montreal all of the races have been on permanent courses, whereas six of the first nine rounds were street circuits. It’s not entirely clear to me whether Mercedes’ improved handling is down to genuine progress they’ve made with their car, or simply that the tracks have suited them better in the second third of the season.

        2. Also, Mercedes (the car, not the tyres) is not a fan of the heat yet.
          Their sidepotless design makes it more tricky to get sufficient cooling to the (radiators and) PU.

          I still recall their explanations after the Aussie race.

          1. * sidepodless

      2. Mercedes simulations say Singapore “should be one of our better tracks”

        And we know how good their Simulations are or not ! What in their Simulation comes for is not what on track happens.
        And @moshambles better on bumps but we still don’t know if they fixed it since we didn’t race on bump tracks yet.

        1. They’ll ride higher reducing AoR – CoG distance decreasing tire performance by slow warm up process. If the opposite happens it means that aero package is so good that it overcomes majority of chassis weaknesses. Time will show, better say stopwatch will show… I’m not expecting great things from W13 in Singapore because there is a huge difference between Hungaroring and streets of Singapore. Mercedes simulations? Is it a joke or they’re serious?

        2. And we know how good their Simulations are or not !

          Selective reading?
          Toto also said “the track layout should suit our car, the bumps not” and “But I’m trying to stay on the careful side with any predictions for Singapore”

          In other words, he doesn’t trust the simulations either.
          From some comments I’ve seen, RBR don’t trust the simulations this season either. I don’t think any teams has seen what they regard as a good correlation between simulation and reality. They are all learning the way the ground effect cars behave – although AN had a previous run through to refer back to.

          1. Early in the season when the FIA was focusing on porpoising, A. Newey, in an interview, indicate that Red Bull had developed a simulation for porpoising. Hind sight would seem to indicate that they had been at least, reasonably successful at not only predicting it, but mitigating the effect.
            Even in recent races, the onboard footage from the Ferraris would indicate that they are still suffering from aero induced bouncing, but it seems to be manageable.
            Singapore will be especially interesting. A bumpy track, variable surfaces, unforgiving walls and blind corners, should keep the Safety Car busy. Not gonna miss this one.

  3. I don’t think there’s any requirement for Piastri to beat Norris. I think most would be surprised if he did. As long as he’s closer and consistently scoring points and the occasional podium he’ll be fine. It’ll be a huge improvement on Ricciardo. If Piastri is comprehensively beaten by Norris then he could be in trouble but that’s the same for every driver on the grid relative to their teammate.

    1. Yeah agree, I was very surprised by this Rosberg comment, and I would expect it to take several months before Piastri is matching Lando’s pace, or is Norris not so highly regarded anymore?

  4. Throwing a red flag and restarting neutralizes and devalues the other 90% of the race.

    How’s that different form ‘throwing a SC’?

    At least during a Red Flag we don’t lose precious (to me) racing laps.

    1. Yes, I don’t see any value in watching cars in a procession behind a safety car, and counting these as racing laps. I thought when the SC idea was originally brought in, the idea was that instead of stopping a race with all the delays and hanging around that a red flag causes, that we would instead have a couple of laps behind a safety car to give the marshalls time to pull a car off track.

      Now it feels like safety cars are used much more often, that cars simply park up wherever they feel like it and bring out a safety car instead of finding places where they can drive off track into a safe haven, and then we have all the palaver of the SC trying to pick up the leader, marshalls standing around looking at the stranded car waiting for the electrician to issue a health and safety certificate, and even more laps lost while they go through all the procedures of allowing lapped cars to unlap themselves, which to me seems utterly pointless too.

      I think a red flag could have less impact on the race if they didn’t allow teams to work on the cars during the red flag, and had a rolling restart instead of a clutch restart. I also think there is a case for saying that a car which simply parks it, i.e. hasn’t crashed, isn’t leaking fluids, etc, and which brings out a SC/red flag should suffer a grid penalty in the next race. Added to that, how is it possible that we have all these expensive Tilke-designed circuits and they still don’t have enough places for drivers to get a limping car off track?

      1. What about laps behind the safety car only counting as partial laps based on fuel consumption per normal lap. e.g. if the average fuel consumption under racing laps is 15L per lap, but only 5L per lap behind SC, then every three laps of SC only counts as 1 racing lap? Crappy compromise? Maybe?

  5. I didn’t knew Nick de Vries had 2 passports but everyone knew the EU ID isn’t enough anymore… kuch kuch i had the same problem taking the ferry but i could get my passport within a hour to me so i could sail…. we are habbitial people still.

    1. kuch kuch

      I had to look it up ;)

      1. Lol never knew those meant different things in other languages :) In Dutch it’s embarisment for the one talking indication he made the same mistake while he should know better. In English it should be cough cough (very silent hearable only to the person talking)

    2. Most people in F1 (and possibly in FE too) have 2 passports, since they often face a situation where they have one of them in some embassy for a while waiting for a visa to be granted and using the other @macleod. I guess he hoped it would work out, or maybe he failed to realise the second one had expired before the trip?

      1. @bascb – I thought you could have only one silly me :) I think he knew but used his ID (which is useable through the whole EU) but forgot England left the EU bringing those silly border checks again.

  6. We’ll see.

    Interesting how an EU ID caused a mess in De Vries’ situation.
    I’m unaware of any similar cases since the UK left the EU.

    An unacceptable attitude by the FIA? Interesting.

    Rosberg jumps to definitive judgment prematurely & not necessarily anyway.

    COTD is largely spot-on & implementing correct procedures quicker or quickly was indeed the issue in Monza.
    The last point about parking for recovery is easier said than done as drivers can’t always choose where exactly to park on the trackside.

  7. Constantijn Blondel
    23rd September 2022, 10:23

    Danny Ric giving Nascar a shot (and Nascar giving Danny Ric a shot) ?

    Somehow that makes a lot of sense, and might be a really good and potentially longer-term option. Don’t get me wrong, I love Daniel and I think that _on his day_ he can be fantastic inside the cockpit, but for the past few years it’s becoming increasingly embarrassing to see him desperately try to convince himself that “and now I’m really going to let out the ‘true’ Danny” and that “I still have the fire”, etc. etc.

    I don’t think there’s anything to be ashamed about diving off the deep end and showing what you can do in a Nascar, rather than hoping for that magic seat in a winning car that – sorry Danny – most likely exists only in his mind.

    Danny to Daytona – let’s go :)

    1. Constantijn Blondel
      23rd September 2022, 12:06

      * dive IN AT the deep end.

  8. in the early Merdeces dominant years, 2014, 2015, 2016, it was their weakest. I remember it was something crazy to see them so far back as 6th place
    if this is true, how times have changed

    1. True, I remember they struggled a lot in singapore, and I don’t expect them to do anything special this year either.

  9. Risky prediction: Stiff Merc struggles to get heat into tyres at Singapore while bouncing all over the shop.

    1. Not as risky as you might think. Pretty safe bet.
      Will be interesting to see if the FIA limitation on driver G-loads causes any of the teams / drivers to modify lines or actually reduce speed. At Spa, there was radio chatter that some drivers were instructed to change lines.
      Just waiting for a team to be penalized for bouncing. That will be interesting.

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