Mercedes said it never considered replicating rival sidepod plans this year, notwithstanding other Recipe 1 groups conforming to the benchmark Red Bull and Ferrari arrangements.
However, despite Mercedes’ difficulties with its 2022 rival, the team insisted that Mercedes’ problems had nothing to do with its very different sidepod solution.
The improvements it made to most other aspects of its car ultimately assisted it in becoming a winner because its primary focus was on resolving the porpoising issues that plagued the beginning of its campaign rather than considering making changes to the sidepods.
According to Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin, the team never felt the need to put a lot of effort into the sidepod solution because it was not causing a significant performance loss.
He said that the team thought that the best way to be successful in Formula One was to experiment with its own ideas rather than just copy others.
According to Shovlin, “most of the engineering, certainly from an aerodynamic point of view, are the bits you can’t see under the floor.” A lot of that work is done there.
“The sidepod concept was something that we had to realistically commit to for the year. However, if we had been more focused on finding a quick fix, we might have copied it, implemented it, and tested it.
Over the winter, the team adds more downforce to the car, but he thinks that the new floor edge rules will also help it solve some of its most obvious issues.
He stated, “The more you load up the floor, the more you can cause those problems.” In the straightline, we have made very good progress. Therefore, during the initial races in Imola, Jeddah, and Bahrain, the vehicle was bouncing extremely badly at high speed.
“When the car rolled into a fast corner and the floor touches the ground, there were still issues we encountered. Additionally, this may result in some unsteadiness. However, that will be helped by the upcoming rule changes.
However, fundamentally, they will not alleviate the issue. They’ll make the teams’ lives easier. However, we are hopeful that the effort we put into learning and comprehension in the early part of the year will help us at least establish a solid foundation for the following year.
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