Mercedes has revealed that, after doing a series of tests during Friday practice in Saudi Arabia, the difficulties with their new W13 car have yet to be resolved.
Despite executing many experiments during Friday practice at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Mercedes has revealed that they have yet to solve their W13 car’s porpoising issues. The team has fallen behind both Red Bull and Ferrari in terms of car performance at the start of the 2017 Formula One season.
Their biggest challenge so far has been overcoming porpoising, a downforce phenomenon that has been satisfactorily addressed by the majority of teams in the paddock.
Mercedes, on the other hand, are still suffering and appear to be doing so coming into qualifying and the race in Saudi Arabia.
However, the team’s studies did result in the cure of some of their car’s balancing concerns, which is a great step forward.
“We did a few more trials to understand the bouncing issue here,” Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin said late Friday evening. “Some made it worse, some helped, but we don’t yet have a solution to make the problem go away.”
“We can reduce this slightly for qualifying, as it’s affecting the drivers in a few of the corners and costing time.”
“Compared to Bahrain, the car balance is in a better place and, in terms of degradation, we’re quite happy with what we have seen.”
“Our single-lap [pace] still needs a bit of work, but we’ve got the [final practice] session to do that,” he continued.
“Overall though, a reasonable day, but, clearly, we still have a bit of work to do before we’ll be troubling Red Bull or Ferrari.”