Can Mercedes Amendments Give Hamilton Home Comforts?

Few F1 seasons in history have been so dominated by Talk of technical issues and for Mercedes, the headache has been endless.

Porpoising has been a problem across the grid with the new rules on the design of cars, but the sight of Lewis Hamilton floundering so much has brought gloom to both Mercedes and British fans of the Stevenage-born driver. They will be eagerly hoping that Hamilton can at least be competitive in his home Grand Prix at Silverstone.

As the F1 website notes, Mercedes are pretty keen too, with a new package of precision engineering tweaks aimed at producing a much-enhanced performance at the historic Northamptonshire circuit.

The key, it suggested, is that Silverstone presents fast corners and smooth surfaces, all of which is more like the proposition Barcelona presented. The Spanish grand prix saw less porpoising from the car with its redesigned floor, with George Russell managing a podium finish.

Subsequently, however, the related issue of mechanical bouncing has blighted the car on the bumpier circuits of Monaco, Baku and Montreal. The redesign that has involved running the car high enough to cut bouncing at higher speeds means a greater loss of downforce on less even circuits. 

On the basis of this technical analysis, it could be that the Mercedes will at least do better at Silverstone, but technical director Mike Elliott said efforts will continue to find a solution. He remarked: “We will be bringing new bits to Silverstone; we will be trying to push the car forward, trying to get some pace from the car we’ve got as well as the new bits we are going to add to it.”

If these efforts finally pay off, it will not be before time. Mercedes has not slipped back as much as some might think; Russell is fourth in the standings, Hamilton sixth, and the team third behind Ferrari and Red Bull. Even so, the drop-off from the years when the constructors’ championship was a certainty has been alarming. A first win of the season at Silverstone would be a huge relief.

Leave a Reply