Mercedes ‘gathering data on the track to put the puzzle together’

Franz Tost Germany

Mercedes is relying heavily on gathering data from race weekends to improve W13 and prepare for the upcoming season.

Mercedes has struggled to keep up with the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari this season. W13 was hugely affected by porpoising in the early part of the season.

Nevertheless, the Silver Arrows were able to tackle and reduce the bouncing to a great extent halfway through the season. However, this was not the only problem with W13.

As the season progressed, it became clear that the draggy nature of the car was a much bigger problem for the team. It was affecting the car’s performance on bumpy tracks.

A glimmer of hope came as George Russell snatched the pole position at Hungary. However, the pace was again hugely off at Spa as Russell only managed to finish P4 thanks to grid penalties affecting other drivers. Moreover, throughout the race, the W13 was nowhere close to the front runners.

At Dutch Grand Prix however, things again took a turn as Mercedes showed their superior tyre management skills. Lewis Hamilton came close to getting his first win of the season before a late safety car ruined his race.

Wolff explains the progress Mercedes made

When asked what the team learned so far going into the Dutch GP, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff explained:

“The bad one was really necessary to comprehend why it was going good on Friday [and in qualifying].

“As weird as it sounds for a high-tech science lab on wheels, the data doesn’t seem to correlate this year so we are gathering data on the track to put the puzzle together.

“We added a few new bits of the puzzle to comprehend for next year but I don’t expect weekends like this every single weekend to the end of the year.

“There will be bumpier circuits that will not allow us to run the car where we want to run it, there will be a lot of tracks where there will be drag limitations.

“We are not going to win the last seven races.”

That’s a big statement from Mercedes’ boss. F1 is returning to Monza for the Italian GP.

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