F1 F1 concept Mercedes: more rules new affected by aero Low-rake
Fri, 26 Mar 2021 13:00:00 +0000
Mercedes says its low-rake concept has been hurt more by Formula 1's new aero rules than Red Bull's alternative design, but says it cannot change tack now
The German manufacturer conducted a deep analysis of the troubles it suffered in pre-season testing, when main rival Red Bull enjoyed a confidence boosting three days of running.
PLUS: Is this Red Bull’s best chance to beat Mercedes?
It thinks a combination of the impact of the new harder Pirelli tyres, allied to the implications of a change of aero rules to cut downforce, have especially hindered its performance.
And it is in no doubt that the new floor rules, which have forced teams to cut away a segment of floor ahead of the rear tyre, affect the low-rake cars much more than they do higher-rake versions like Red Bull.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the team is now battling to find ways to recover its deficit, especially because it cannot simply switch to a high-rake car.
“I don’t think that the rake is the only singular effect that we may be suffering from, [because] there are new tyres that we are racing in 2021 and we haven’t even started,” explained Wolff ahead of the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
“But definitely our analyses have shown that the high-rake concept has lost less downforce than the lower rake, and in the last year of these regulations we wouldn’t be able to replicate the concept that Red Bull and some of the other teams have been racing.
“It’s physically not possible.
We couldn’t run our suspensions and settings in the way that Red Bull does, and so we need to do the best out of it and tune the car with what we have available.”
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes and Toto Wolff, Executive Director (Business), Mercedes AMG
Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
Mercedes had a more encouraging opening practice session in Bahrain on Friday, with its W12 not showing the rear instability that drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas suffered in testing.
However, the car did appear to show evidence of more understeer, which suggests that the team has not yet found the perfect set-up.
Wolff said that Mercedes now had a “path forward” that would help make the car more predictable for its drivers, but he suggested that further work was needed to relearn how best to optimise it.
Reflecting on the FP1 characteristics, Wolff said: “It wasn’t minor balance changes, it was rethinking the sweet spot of the car, also in combination with the tyres.
“The snappiness on the rear is much better.
Now, it’s about tuning it for the meaningful [evening] sessions tomorrow and on Sunday, and see whether the car’s still behaving nicer than in testing or not.”
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It will take time before it can take effect, but he is confident it is the correct approach
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Despite needing further surgery on the jaw fracture he sustained pre-season, he reckons he’s driving better than ever
If the winner of pre-season testing can turn its early form into a season-long challenge, then the hegemony of F1’s top team could genuinely be under threat.
Both teams are talking up the other as the 2021 season approaches its start, which could mean everything – and nothing
Three newcomers join the Formula 1 grid in 2021.
The shortest pre-season in F1 history will have done little to settle the nerves for Yuki Tsunoda, Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher, and the Haas team’s admission of focusing everything on 2022 means the latter pair have an uphill climb this term
The countdown to 2021 F1 season is nearing its end and answers about the competitive order will soon arrive.
But just as crucial to the narrative of the season will be the intra-team battles for supremacy, as new players bed into unfamiliar environments and established pairings aim to settle scores
The return of the McLaren-Mercedes partnership for the first time since 2014 brings two of Formula 1’s biggest names back together.
Could it be the final step in McLaren’s rebuilding job?
This year’s carryover designs initially pointed to a continuation of Formula 1’s 2020 pecking order, but now it appears that the required aero tweaks may shake things up for the entire grid
When the pandemic pushed Formula 1 into hiatus a year ago, the driver-market cogs carried on turning behind the scenes, culminating in three drivers spending a whole season racing for teams they knew they’d be leaving and a double world champion readying himself for a dramatic comeback.
STUART CODLING weighs up what’s at stake
Fri, 26 Mar 2021 13:00:00 +0000
F1 Tracks has a very special takeover ahead of the 2021 season-opener, with Kylie Minogue herself picking a playlist of tracks to get you going – plus an
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26 March 2021
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F1 Tracks has a very special takeover ahead of the 2021 season-opener, with Kylie Minogue herself picking a playlist of tracks to get you going – plus an exclusive Q&A with the Aussie princess of pop herself.
As well as her own singles – including Spinning Around, Magic and Real Groove from her 2020 release Disco – Kylie picks a diverse range of tracks from the likes of Stormzy, MGMT, Daft Punk and Q-Tip.
She also lets us into her favourite F1 driver (no prizes for guessing the answer), gives us an insight into why performing live is like a Formula 1 pit stop, and tells us about her latest album.
Scroll down to read the Q&A.
Listen to Kylie Minogue’s F1 Tracks takeover on Spotify, Apple or Deezer.
Are there any similarities between the buzz of F1 and buzz of live music?
The logistics of setting up an F1 event make even my biggest shows seem small but, there are definitely similarities! They’re both live events with adrenalin and excitement and both have that ‘traveling circus’ feel where the entire show is packed away and rolled to the next destination.
Also, even though you do as much prep as possible, there is the thrill of the unknown, of what you can achieve with one more show or one more race.
I have also described my wardrobe ‘quick-changes’ on a concert as being like pit-stops.
I’m happy if I can find a way to cut them down by a few seconds … if I ever get a stop-watch and break it down to milli-seconds, then I’ll feel VERY F1!!
Favourite F1 Track?
What are your favourite memories from following Formula 1?
Being as close to the pit stop as a guest can be! Also, being on the grid just before race time.
I love the energy and the focus that have to merge perfectly for the driver and their teams.
Tell us about your latest album Disco?
My album is about the dance floor and the many emotions we have or we associate with it.
It can be pure escapism, joy, lust, tears, that first kiss or that favourite song.
It’s like another world where we can lose ourselves or, discover ourselves.
The first vinyl I ever put on a record player were disco albums and when I started making this album, I appreciated more than ever that this genre has been a constant presence in my life.
Have you ever performed during a Grand Prix weekend?
In 2016 I performed at the Singapore Grand Prix.
There was an incredible atmosphere in the city with the race and my entire team were so excited to be part of it.
The crowd were amazing and it was an unforgettable (and hot!) night!
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