Mercedes will soon be introducing a new iteration of their W13 in their bid to recover from their poor start to the 2022 campaign, according to ex-Formula 1 engineer Julien Simon-Chautemps.
The new technical regulations introduced ahead of this season have posed no shortage of issues for the team that has claimed all of the last eight Constructors’ Championships, and the “porpoising” as the floor hits the ground due to the new ground effect aerodynamics has cost them an abundance of time on the straight.
When they attempted to counteract this, they made the car “undriveable” in the corners, and Sir Lewis Hamilton found himself eliminated in the first phase of qualifying for the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
They had also taken the sensors off the 37-year-old’s car, and his improved pace in Australia after they put them back on was perhaps just a small indication that they have begun to comprehend some of the setup and handling issues that have set them so far back.
Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles divulged that the Brackley side were given “clues and understanding” by the data collected in Melbourne, but Simon-Chautemps stresses that the Silver Arrows have to dig deep and find the fundamental flaws that have been holding them back.
‘It’s clear that they need to understand what the problems are first,” he told Motorlat.com.
The Frenchman reveals that a team like Mercedes, with their perpetual brilliance and resources, would have been able to simply throw new things at the car in previous years and decipher from there which is the best way forward.
But the budget cap sits at $140 million this season, so a more sagacious approach must now be taken.
”There is also the fact that the budget cap is a big problem, especially for the big teams. In the past they would have brought two, three or four different front wings and floors, but they can’t do that anymore,” he added.
The upcoming Emilia Romagna Grand Prix sees the first sprint race of the year, so there will be little time to test new parts.
There is therefore ambiguity as to whether or not the German outfit are planning to introduce a new floor to help eradicate the bouncing, but the French engineer, who worked with Alfa Romeo for five seasons, reckons they will wait until they have the components to introduce an entirely new car rather than incrementally add parts on.
“They’ll probably wait until they have a whole package, that’s my expectation. Instead of one new floor, they will bring a B-spec car. I think that will be the case very soon,” he suggested.
The majority of the teams are expected to bring major upgrades to the second European round of the season in Spain, where they will have three practice sessions to test them out.