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Mercedes F1's W15 Struggles with Downforce Issues

Mercedes F1’s W15 Struggles with Downforce Issues

25/04/2024

Mercedes F1 reveals ongoing challenges with the W15 due to downforce shortages and sluggish front axles impacting performance.

James Allison, the technical director of Mercedes F1, has shared the team’s hopes for progress in the coming weeks. While the W15 is not performing as expected, improvements are anticipated through adjustments and development.

“We need to make improvements to the car, as well as components that, we hope, will correct the underlying balance issue causing us difficulties,” Allison stated.

“Even though it’s tough to talk like this after a weekend like this, I must remember that there will be future races when we have achieved these things, when we are back at the front and making progress, and the joy of talking about it will be immense, and that day can’t come soon enough.”

Allison details the effects of a too sluggish front axle, which causes time loss or tire degradation: “We’ve had a front-limited car all year, especially in low-speed corners, and this was exacerbated this weekend.”

“When the front tires don’t want to turn, it means the drivers have to wait an eternity before putting power on the exit of the turn, resulting in a loss of lap time.”

“In the extreme, to get the car to turn, they have to push it into the turn with the accelerator to release the rear a bit, which kills the rear tires, and we end up overheating the rear due to the front limitation.”

“There is no pleasure to be had from a weekend which, even though it was well executed and well driven by both drivers, holds no joy when the equipment itself is not where it needs to be or should be.”

“Of course, the challenge we must face in the upcoming races is to try to evolve both the car’s settings and the elements we bring to the car in order to improve it.”

Before Miami, the engineer explains how Mercedes will change its approach to hopefully get more out of the Sprint format: “We definitely learned over this weekend that if you want to be ambitious, you have to be so during the Sprint and then adjust for the main race rather than the other way around.”

“We hope that our car will be better positioned and that the improvements we bring to Miami will be useful on a very tight starting grid, at least in qualifying.”

“In the part of the battle we are fighting, a few hundredths can sometimes make a difference, and a few tenths can make all the difference in the world. So, I’m looking forward to seeing how all this will unfold.”

Mercedes F1's W15 Struggles with Downforce Issues

Mercedes F1’s W15 Struggles with Downforce Issues. Mercedes F1’s W15 Struggles with Downforce Issues

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