Lewis Hamilton to get boost from significant Mercedes upgrade after torrid performance in Italy

Mercedes have brought new wings to the Miami Grand Prix.

A Mercedes upgrade being introduced at this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix is set to take 3kg off their car as they seek to improve its woeful performance in 2022.

The Silver Arrows looked abject at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell wrestled with the extreme oscillating movement in the cockpit caused by “porpoising.”

They were forced to lift off on the straight to improve visibility and ensure that the car was in any way controllable by the time they got to the corners, and the tyre and cooling issues they have experienced meant that the seven-time champion could find no way past Pierre Gasly during the race on a track that is notoriously tough to pass at.

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While Hamilton finished down in P13, Russell ended the race fourth after a splendid start, but Norbert Haug, former Mercedes motorsport vice president, warned that the 24-year-old’s distinguished performance was deceptive of the W13’s true pace.

“Fourth place for Russell was great but the reality is probably more with where Hamilton is,” he said.

The “porpoising” is detrimental, not just to Mercedes’ performance, but their ability to ascertain which other area of the car need improving.

This was the reason they opted to place Hamilton’s sensors back on the car having removed them in Saudi Arabia, but trackside engineer Andrew Shovlin conceded that establishing an effective development path is difficult when faced with such an all-encompassing issue.

“That’s probably priority number one because that’s ultimately preventing us from running the car where we’d like to run it for optimum performance,” he told Motorsport.com.

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“What we don’t know is, if we could just magically make that issue vanish, where would we actually be in terms of car pace: is the car fast enough or not? And it’s very difficult to answer that question.”

As somewhat of a cross-referencing experiment, Mercedes have brought new front and rear wings to the race in Florida this weekend, and a new, much thinner beam wing has been implemented in a bid to save weight and reduce downforce.

The lack of downforce on the car could well help mitigate the “porpoising” effect by ensuring that there is less abrasion between the car and track surface, but it potentially jeopardises their performance in the corners.

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However, with weight being such an issue for everyone at the moment, the car is anticipated to lose 3kg, which would, by previous estimations of their weight, put them at 809kg, which is still 11kg over the 798kg limit set by the FIA this year.

Following their ascertainment of data this weekend, the Brackley-based squad will bring new evolutions to the car in Spain where, having completed the first pre-season test with relatively few issues, the Silver Arrows can gain a better idea of where they have gone wrong.