Under the aerodynamic testing regulations [ATR], the FIA have given Mercedes 10 percent more testing time than they had in the first half of the 2022 season.
ATR is a sliding scale of wind time and computational fluid dynamics [CFD] items that teams are allowed, with the front-running team getting the least, and last-placed team getting the most.
This is aimed at promoting fairness in the pinnacle of motorsport and giving teams as much chance as possible of getting back into contention.
This year, the scale has been changed slightly to give teams a chance to improve their car during the season itself, particularly handy owing to the new technical regulations.
Some teams were always going to master the returning ground effect aerodynamics, while it was also inevitable that some teams were going to get it very wrong, so it is normal during the first year of a new regulatory period for the pack to be quite spaced out.
As the reigning constructors’ champions from last year, Mercedes had 70 percent of the testing limits given to them, but they have been around a second a lap slower than Ferrari and Red Bull this year.
This is partly due to the “porpoising” and bottoming they have suffered as a result of aerodynamic issues at the start of the year, before the low ride height of the car caught them out in recent races.
They find themselves as the third best team this season behind Red Bull and Ferrari, so they get an extra 10 percent of wind tunnel time, and 200 more CFD items.
The changes will come into effect on 1 July after the current ATR period comes to and end on 30 June.
The season is split into six periods, and we are currently coming towards the end of the third one, with next three arriving between July and December.
Having slipped from eighth to 10th in the Constructors’ Standings in the first half of this year, Williams have also been awarded 10 percent more wind tunnel time and 200 more CFD items.
Alfa Romeo have jumped from ninth last year to sixth in 2022, so they have 15 percent and 300 less than they did in 2021.