Why wasn’t the W14 fast on straightaways?
Mercedes faced challenges during pre-season testing, with concerns over handling, tire management, and top speed. The team did not use the planned configuration for the W14, and may have been sandbagging.
According to Mike Elliott, the team’s director, Mercedes F1 exhibited a somewhat concerning top speed at Bahrain, along with issues regarding handling and tire management on the W14. The team did not utilize the configuration that will be in place for the upcoming weekend, particularly with regards to the rear wing.
“We probably didn’t have the rear wing that we will have when we come for the race,” Elliott revealed. “We have developed the car’s aerodynamic efficiency significantly during the winter.”
“We have chosen a way of driving that we believe to be the best. Obviously, during testing, we’re just trying to understand the car, so we didn’t do any work on increasing or reducing aerodynamic downforce.”
The objective was to accumulate data, and thus to maintain a constant configuration over the three days: “We kept it constant and tried to gather as much data as we could from the car to understand as much as possible the issues we might encounter, and just build from there.”
Christian Horner, the team boss of Red Bull, is still questioning whether Mercedes is “keeping something in reserve” after three days of 2023 Pre-Season Testing.
Since Day 1 of Pre-Season Testing, it appears that Mercedes’s 2023 car has not been performing at the same level as Red Bull and Ferrari.
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Nevertheless, numerous observers have speculated that the German team may be “sandbagging” by not revealing its true pace.
When asked about Red Bull’s biggest rival this year, team boss Christian Horner also expressed uncertainty as to whether Mercedes is still concealing something.
“The Briton said it is very difficult to say,”
“I mean, Ferrari seems to be fast, and it’s difficult to gauge Mercedes’ form at the moment,” Horner said.
“Perhaps they are holding something back, but we’ll find out this week,” Horner added.
Horner concluded, “I believe everything will become clear soon.”
Yes, the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend will reveal the true standings.
Lewis Hamilton has stated that Mercedes is “making an effort to ensure we start the season strong” ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
During the 2023 Pre-Season Testing, Mercedes faced some challenges as the performance of the W14 did not meet the team’s expectations, if they are not indeed concealing their true pace.
Following the conclusion of the 2023 Pre-Season Testing, Lewis Hamilton mentioned that a major positive is that the issue of porpoising appears to have been completely resolved.
Hamilton stated, “The bouncing that we had previously experienced seems to have been eliminated for the most part.”
He continued, “This is a significant breakthrough for us. It feels great to drive without any bouncing, but there are still some underlying issues that we are working to resolve.”
Regarding the Bahrain Grand Prix, the season opener, Hamilton stated:
“It’s going to be challenging, I believe, for everyone,” Hamilton commented on the Bahrain Grand Prix season opener. “Back when I first started, we had much more testing available, so for those who are new, they only have a day and a half. It’s certainly not a lot of time to get a lot of running in.”
“However, we are all professionals and will do our best,” Hamilton continued. “We are making every effort to ensure that we start the season strong and perform well right from the beginning.”
“In essence, it’s about fully comprehending the car and the tires to the best of our ability,” Hamilton concluded.
Why wasn’t the W14 fast on straightaways? Why wasn’t the W14 fast on straightaways? Why wasn’t the W14 fast on straightaways?
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