Mercedes working on new suspension upgrade

Mercedes working on new suspension upgrade

Mercedes’ technical director James Allison stated on Thursday that the team would put in a lot of effort over the Formula One break in April to provide Lewis Hamilton and George Russell a more balanced car with better suspension.

James Allison, the technical director for Mercedes F1, has revealed that the Brackley team’s engineers are developing new suspension components that should enhance Lewis Hamilton’s feel and, eventually boost his confidence in the W14.

Due to the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix, there is a significant hiatus in the racing schedule before the sport resumes on April 30 in Azerbaijan.

Hamilton has spoken up about his biggest beef with the Mercedes design, citing that he didn’t “feel connected” to the car in part because of the cockpit’s forward positioning, which makes it harder for him to feel the W14’s back end.

The seven-time world champion has pushed Mercedes to address that weakness in the future, but in the meanwhile, impending new suspension parts ought to assist resolve the problem and enhance the balance of the W14 as a whole.

“We are working as hard as we can in the wind tunnel to find more downforce,” said Allison in a video released on Mercedes’ YouTube channel.

“We will be working as hard as we can in the drawing office to convert the things that the wind tunnel found a few weeks ago into performance that we deliver to the track.

“We will be working in the drawing office also to bring some mechanical parts to the car, some different suspension components that we think will help the underlying balance of the car and make it a more driveable thing, making it something that the drivers have more confidence to push right to the limits.

“And we will be working on the normal sort of simulation loop and routine that allow us to prepare for the race weekends that are coming up, making sure that we land the car in the right place when we get to the race.”

The next Formula 1 race will feature a Sprint event on Saturday in Azerbaijan, which means there will only be one practice session on Friday before qualifying.

Allison continued by emphasizing the value of performing as much setup preparation on the simulator as you can in order to start strong in Baku.

“Sprint races really reward the teams that can land there with a starting set-up that is pretty on the money and ready to go in qualifying, because the time is really compressed in a sprint race weekend,” the Mercedes boss added.

“Those are the things we will be working on and hopefully we work well and strong and have a good showing when we show up in Baku in just a few weeks’ time.”

Allison noticed a “feeling of calm contentment” resonating around the team despite Russell’s engine failure being an unavoidable setback when reviewing Mercedes’ performance in Melbourne, where Russell qualified second and Hamilton completed second on race day.

“Overall, a sense of quiet satisfaction that we have moved the car forward that, from a performance point of view, we probably got as much as it is able to give right now,” he said.

“That happiness of course is tempered by the disappointment that we only got one car to the flag and that George was not able to show what he was capable of in the car on race day, having performed very strongly up to that point in the weekend.

“We didn’t have huge breakthroughs, but we moved forward a little bit. We put a small amount on the leaders Red Bull, and we are starting to get on terms with, and maybe just nose a whisker in front of, the Ferraris and the Aston Martins.”

Allison emphasized the distinct features of the Baku track when asked if Mercedes can maintain its Australian trend into the upcoming race.

“That is a very difficult question to answer,” he admitted. “They are very different tracks… Where Melbourne had been front-limited, putting more strain on the front axle, probably Baku will be rear-limited.

“It’s a very different set of circumstances.

“I think we got some reasons to think that as we keep working on our car, we will be able to make the hop from Melbourne to the different challenge of Baku and still have a good showing.

“But it will be only when we get there and put the car on the road that we will know that for sure.”

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