The W13 car proved to be a disaster for the Mercedes winning only one race in 2022.
Ever since the start of the turbo hybrid era, Mercedes has been a force to reckon with. The team has completely dominated since the start of 2014 securing eight constructor titles in a row. However, new regulations change in the 2022 season put the team on backfoot.
Mercedes came to the 2022 season with their W13 challenger. However, it became clear after a couple of races that the car was nowhere near being a title-challenging one.
The new aerodynamic designs based around the ground effect gave birth to severe bouncing or more commonly known as porpoising. The issue seemed too much for the Silver Arrows as the team lacked a lot in comparison to the leaders Ferrari and Red bull.
It became clear during the pre-testing only that the car the design tools needed an upgrade.
Porpoising prompted Mercedes to upgrade its design tools
The severe bouncing caused Mercedes to upgrade its facilities. Mercedes trackside engineer Andrew Shovlin gave some information about the issues and upgrades the team brought to tackle porpoising:
“The way that we’re working, the way that we’re assessing developments on the car – that is what we’ve been investing in,”
Shovlin said at the end of the 2022 season.
“And that investment has meant that the car that we [were] racing on track is perhaps not as quick as it would’ve been if we’d gone flat out with our development heads on.”
“But it was very much a case of trying to crack the code of what was happening with these cars aerodynamically.“
“And, once we could understand that, development-wise it is a bit like ‘the lights have suddenly come on again and we can see where we’re going and we know what we want chase for future performance’.”
The Silver Arrows covered a lot of gaps in terms of performance by the end of the 2022 season – winning the Brazilian GP. However, the team still seemed far from the leader – Red bull.
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