Red Bull have arrived in Melbourne for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix with a new rear wing, while Mercedes appear to have stuck with the same wing they used in Saudi Arabia last month.
The Silver Arrows have been trying to negotiate their way around the “porpoising” issue which has been adversely affecting their performance in the early going in 2022, and it was reported that a new rear wing would improve the bouncing – saving them time on the straight – without affecting their performance in the corners.
They previously attempted to achieve this by raising the ride height of the car in Jeddah and, while they marginally decreased their deficit to the Honda-powered Red Bull to 11kph on the straights, they were left with an “undriveable” car in the corners as Sir Lewis Hamilton qualified 16th.
It is possible that more comprehensive measured are needed, including a new floor, so it appears that they will introduce all of their new upgrades in Imola, two weeks after the race in Melbourne.
“Still no new rear wing for Mercedes in Melbourne, as initially planned. Red Bull, on the other hand, is coming with a new rear wing in Australia,” tweeted Dutch journalist Erik van Haren.
George Russell recently praised Red Bull’s adeptness to the new technical regulations, but affirmed that, after a disappointing start to the year for the Brackley squad, they are not out of the running just yet.
“They [Red Bull] seem to have done a better job of reducing their drag at high speeds. Their pace is exceptional at the moment. We have to work in all areas to catch up,” he explained.
“We’re definitely not out after two races. Even if we continue like this for five, six, seven, eight races, we’re still within striking distance. There’s no reason why we can’t [turn it around].”
Both teams’ cars are estimated to be sitting at around 213kg – 15kg over the weight limit – while Ferrari, who are 5kg lighter, lead the Drivers’ Standings through Charles Leclerc and the Constructors’ Standings after an impressive start from Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz.
Red Bull adviser Dr Helmut Marko previously confirmed that his team will be bringing some lighter parts to Imola.
“Our car is definitely more difficult to tune, but we will lose some weight in Imola,” he said.
“That should give us a significant time advantage, time gain in other words.”
Ferrari are also expected to bring some upgrades to Imola to help reduce their weight, before a resolution to their “porpoising” troubles, which will improve straight line speed, is set to be introduced in Barcelona.