Mercedes’ W13 car has undergone upgrades as the team prepares to use them as “experiments” during Miami Grand Prix practice.
The Brackley-based team has had a terrible start to the 2022 Formula 1 season, with severe porposing troubles on the straights restricting their speed and leaving them in the middle of the field.
Mercedes’ lowest point came at Imola, where neither driver qualified in Q3, their poorest qualifying performance since 2012, and while Russell finished fourth in the race, Lewis Hamilton finished a lap behind in 13th.
Faced with an urgent need to resolve the porpoising issues, the team has deployed its first updates of the year as a “starting step” in that direction.
“Since we returned from Italy, we’ve learned as much from the weekend as we can and, in parallel, our learning has continued in the wind tunnel and simulations,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said.
“We have found several directions for improving the car, and we will be conducting experiments in Miami to correlate those simulations, and hopefully confirm the development path for the coming races.”
“Both drivers have been working in the simulator ahead of Miami and the factories have been busy producing updates for the next races.”
“The saying ‘smooth seas do not make good sailors’ comes to mind,” Wolff added. “This team has shown its resilience over many years and the difficult start to this season has lit a fire within every team member, determined to put it right.”
Typically, teams avoid introducing such changes at a brand new track, especially on a street circuit like the one around Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. However, Wolff is upbeat about the weekend ahead.
“Miami is an exciting new challenge and a complete step into the unknown,” he said.
“The track looks demanding, with a real mix of low and high-speed corners, and it’s set to be a spectacular showcase for the sport to our growing US fanbase.”
“So, we’re set for a fantastic event, and we can’t wait to see how it all plays out.”