Mercedes is looking in a number of different directions to try and fix the porpoising issues it is facing with its 2022 car, and will introduce some updates at this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.
An encouraging first test for Mercedes in Barcelona gave way to a tough final one in Bahrain when the team introduced a major upgrade around its side pods and floor area, and it has been unable to solve the porpoising problem that forces it to run the car higher than its optimal ride height.
Team principal Toto Wolff says the focus has been on finding a long-term fix rather than anything that compromises performance, and that multiple avenues are currently being looked at.
“We’re trying to find a solution that not only fixes the bouncing…” Wolff said at the launch of an official IWC Mercedes team watch. “Because you can patch up the floor and make it stiffer and lose downforce, but at least make the car more stable. And that’s not the direction we are going in.
“Unfortunately with no testing, every race weekend is a little bit of a live experiment. You can’t replicate the bouncing that we see on track in a wind tunnel, and therefore it’s like the old days – a little bit of trial and error. What does it actually do in real life?
“And therefore so far we are looking at a few directions where we believe it could help us to solve the problem long-term without losing the goodness of the downforce by just lifting it up or patching the floor up.
“So there will be tweaks on the car this weekend where we think we can get more direction. But the performance of the car, we will not unlock it from one race weekend to another.”
As part of a new approach from F1 and the FIA this season, Mercedes will explain the updates it has made to the car on Friday when all teams reveal their developments.