When Mercedes presents its car for 2024, it will certainly be very different from the W14 and the revolution could create a very powerful car.
Mercedes is starting again from the failure of the W14 and learning from its mistakes to be able to return to competition in 2024. New chassis, new front and rear suspension, new gearbox and heavily revised sidewalls. All these changes will be clearly visible through the introduction of the new single-seater car. But, as we know, the car keeps a thousand hidden surprises.
Among the strengths of the new Mercedes, for example: Substantial changes can be made to the lower body. This particular area was the item that caused the most headaches for W14 and W13. Both ground effect vehicles proved completely unsuccessful.
Thus, Mercedes technical director, James Allison, announced the failure of that project. “We have placed value on the wrong things“In fact, the 2022 and 2023 cars have their maximum downforce at a point very close to the ground resulting in a significant amount of porpoising.
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Since the two seats are single seated, not even a lift can provide a solution. Every time W13 and W14 were raised, there was a loss in performance It is particularly noticeable due to the concentrated aerodynamic load to create the ground effect.
The victory at Interlagos in 2022 made the Silver Arrows believe that the big problem might be on its way to being solved. But since the beginning of 2023, it has become clear that they have solved almost nothing in Brackley.
“There was a huge internal debate: Do I raise the car and look for greater aerodynamic load at a higher point or do I continue to operate in this height window confident in the intrinsic ability to reduce bounce? The debate was very heated but in the end we chose a conservative option. But she was too careful and we didn't get the results we were hoping for…Alison argued again.
It seemed that Mercedes was finally going to solve all these problems. Especially with the side panels and with the driver's seat positioned inside the single seat (Hamilton has complained several times over the past two seasons.) Revolution, as Toto Wolff said weeks ago, is a risk because it can lead to failure. But it may also prove to be the right way to return to competitiveness.
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