Mercedes problem!

Mercedes problem!

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Discussion

//j17

3,867 posts

200 months

Thursday 31st March
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Muzzer79 said:
I'm thinking that maybe sidepods are a very visible red herring and areas such as the floor are the golden key.
The sidepods will be part of the story, but an F1 car isn't a simple thing where the front wing does X, the sidepods do Y, something else does Z. Almost everything in interconnected in some way on the aero side. A bit like getting to the last square of a Sudoku and realising you have two 5s and no 8 - you have the problem in that box but it's caused by an incorrect number in a different one and correcting that means changing almost every other number in the game.

The 'secret' to a ground effect car is keeping the air under the car and accellerating from front to rear. As you can't use side skirts to stop it escaping at the sides so you need to use other air flowing around the car to do it. One theory is a lower sidepod so you can manage a vortex off the bottom of it and along the side of the car that acts as a wall - but that will tend to get crappy air from the front wheel/pass crappy air to the rear of the car so you then have issues managing those airflows. Merc. have gone for another theory, using high/minimal sidepods which is great for the airflow back from there and is less effected by crappy air from the front of the car but means you need to generate your underfloor side vortexes in a different way.

Managing those edge vortexes with a low sidepod design is more 'easier'/more straight forward but that impact on the reward aero is significant. The high sidepod design is more uncharted territory so requires a but more designer magic to manage the edge vortexes but should have huge benefits at the rear of the car if Merc. can crack it. Just a bit if, and one they have to crack before someone else does (as I'd bet a few teams are spending some of that limited cash on it too).

Leithen

8,441 posts

244 months

Thursday 31st March
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It will be fascinating to see how quickly they recover.

Brawn is an engineer. Wolff isn’t. Does that matter? Brawn has the track record of winning time and time again with different teams.

It’s a great challenge for Wolff and to some extent Allison.

Sandy59

2,628 posts

188 months

Thursday 31st March
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I believe Lotus had quite an issue with porpoising with their first ground effect car many years ago, they then developed the first active suspension system to mitigate the issue, but not an option these days of course.

Jasandjules

67,448 posts

206 months

Thursday 31st March
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We will see next weekend if they have made a start....

Overhaul

196 posts

147 months

Thursday 31st March
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They're going to need plenty of this for that stinker...........


Stig

11,704 posts

261 months

Thursday 31st March
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My guess, sidepod design is more inefficient for cooling, so they are having to handicap the PU for reliability.

Not an easy one to fix either.

Brainpox

3,408 posts

128 months

Thursday 31st March
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In the latest Driver61 video (not going to link as he has put in an awful scam ad in at the beginning) Scarbs reckons it's mostly a suspension issue, exacerbated by aero, rather than mostly an aero problem.

He says the rear suspension can't settle as the aero changes when the car bounces. It was worse in Barhain where it is bumpy compared to Saudi which is flat, if the problem was mostly aero you would expect the problem to be awful everywhere. Something has to set the suspension off initially and the aero keeps it going.

Why all Merc-powered cars are struggling though, he didn't answer that.

Thundersports

556 posts

122 months

Thursday 31st March
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Sandy59 said:
I believe Lotus had quite an issue with porpoising with their first ground effect car many years ago, they then developed the first active suspension system to mitigate the issue, but not an option these days of course.
Ligier had a simple solution with the JS11 in 1980 which was not legal though.

Coatesy351

789 posts

109 months

Friday 1st April
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Sandy59 said:
I believe Lotus had quite an issue with porpoising with their first ground effect car many years ago, they then developed the first active suspension system to mitigate the issue, but not an option these days of course.
It was the lotus 80 that they had the big porpoising issues with.

Leithen

8,441 posts

244 months

Friday 1st April
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Has Scarbs or anyone else summarised how the other teams have gone about mitigating the problem? Or is it all dark arts stuff and being kept hidden?

Abbott

1,591 posts

180 months

Friday 1st April
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This is a good summary of the Lotus experience from the master himself Peter Wright


Edited by Abbott on Friday 1st April 10:07

spikyone

842 posts

77 months

Friday 1st April
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Brainpox said:
Why all Merc-powered cars are struggling though, he didn't answer that.
IIRC Aston Martin use the same rear suspension, Williams use the same gearbox and suspension pick up points so may have a similar layout, although they were pretty slow for the last few years too so it could just be that. McLaren appear to have other problems.

It is feasible that the teams are struggling for different reasons, and if AM and Williams are suffering porpoising when the cars are running low then it's possible they're running bigger wings - and therefore more drag - to compensate.

So it could be suspension. But when all the Merc teams are slow in the speed traps, lack of power seems like a far more likely cause. Even in Barcelona testing, Sainz's comments on Mercedes ("we can see what they're doing", or words to that effect) suggested that he thought Merc had the engines turned down, which could be consistent with a lack of power.

rdjohn

5,260 posts

172 months

Friday 1st April
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Top speed seems a common problem on the Merc cars. And yet the Ferrari teams seem to have been boosted.

Does anyone know if the use of E10 is likely to be an issue? Do the other teams have an additive that compensates for the loss of power? I don't even know if Petronas supply all the Merc teams.

mattdavies

137 posts

134 months

Friday 1st April
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I watched a video on this and they seemed to suggest that although the car isnt great at the moment, if Mercedes keep going with this design and understand it and learn how to fix it, then in the future they would be availble to develope it better through a greater understanding of ground effect.

I am hopeful for a short term pain for long term gain as suggested in the video i watched.

sociopath

2,275 posts

43 months

Friday 1st April
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Maybe this is a demonstration that they won their previous championships due to spending 3 times this years budget cap per year?

The Vambo

5,593 posts

118 months

Friday 1st April
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Leithen said:
Has Scarbs or anyone else summarised how the other teams have gone about mitigating the problem? Or is it all dark arts stuff and being kept hidden?
Scarbs thinks RB are running non Newtonian fluid dampers!

HighwayStar

3,588 posts

121 months

Friday 1st April
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sociopath said:
Maybe this is a demonstration that they won their previous championships due to spending 3 times this years budget cap per year?
Ferrari and RedBull demonstrated they couldn’t win previous championships 3 times this years budget cap per year.
Basically it’s a symptom of the brand new rules. As always some teams strike gold, some do ok and some struggle. Merc, going by GRs performance, are doing ok relative to teams behind them but struggling by their own standards. Hopefully they’ll crack it in 2/3 races.

SturdyHSV

9,013 posts

144 months

Friday 1st April
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HighwayStar said:
Ferrari and RedBull demonstrated they couldn’t win previous championships 3 times this years budget cap per year.
I think the pay to win model only works if you're the one spending the most... scratchchin

HighwayStar

3,588 posts

121 months

Friday 1st April
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SturdyHSV said:
HighwayStar said:
Ferrari and RedBull demonstrated they couldn’t win previous championships 3 times this years budget cap per year.
I think the pay to win model only works if you're the one spending the most... scratchchin
What’s Ferrari’s excuse then?

SturdyHSV

9,013 posts

144 months

Friday 1st April
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HighwayStar said:
SturdyHSV said:
HighwayStar said:
Ferrari and RedBull demonstrated they couldn’t win previous championships 3 times this years budget cap per year.
I think the pay to win model only works if you're the one spending the most... scratchchin
What’s Ferrari’s excuse then?
Red wine hehe