Spanish Grand Prix - "It's great": Mercedes lives again, the W13 no longer porpoises on the straights

Spanish Grand Prix – “It’s great”: Mercedes lives again, the W13 no longer porpoises on the straights

Mercedes may not despair of extending their run of nine pole positions at Montmelo which began in 2013, but it would still take a miracle to do so on Saturday. Even if his W13 was a threat to Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari during free practice 2 on Friday in Catalonia.

With a “significantly different car from the pre-season tests conducted on the same circuit in February” as the team pointed out, George Russell rolled 0.117 from the Monegasque, and Lewis Hamilton 0.204. “After experimenting with tuning tricks to be in a larger performance window.”

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The team recalled that May 20 also marked the third anniversary of the death of Niki Lauda, ​​its former non-executive chairman, “whose inimitable spirit continues to reign in the team.” It was perhaps this refusal to give up that the Austrian had in the greatest difficulties that made him advance towards the exit of the tunnel.

Hamilton ‘super happy with the progress’

Did she see the light? Is porpoising a thing of the past? Reviewed – and corrected? – at the aerodynamic level, the behavior of the W13 has nothing to do with what it has been doing to English drivers since the first rounds of wheels in February.

“In Miami, we were the fastest on Fridayrecalled George Russell. Here we are second but the car reacts very differently. We don’t have the porpoising on the straights, which is great, but we still experience it here and there on the corners. Red Bull always look very fast and they are the team to be reckoned with at the moment. I see no reason why we can’t be as close, if not a bit closer, ahead of everything this weekend. With the differences in power modes, it’s hard to tell where we really are in terms of pace. Ferrari and Red Bull seemed to run on their lowest power modes.”

But that won’t do everything. At Montmelo, wear is a concern, particularly on the front left tire, which was subjected to significant stress in turn 3. “The degradation was huge for everyone and it’s going to be ‘make or break’ in the race. So we’ll be watching that closely tonight.”

“I’m super happy with the progress and a huge thank you to the team at the factory for all the hard work, refusing to give up and keep pushing.said Lewis Hamilton. We’re not the fastest yet but I think we’re on the right track. It’s the first time we’ve come up the straight without bouncing; we still have some, but it’s much better. We are starting to exploit the potential of the car. It remains difficult but much more pleasant to drive than it was before. We have made some improvements and now we need to polish them. We have a lot of data to go through and I think we can put the car in an even better position on Saturday to hopefully get on the heels of the guys up front. Degradation is going to be key here, with these tires you can’t attack, attack, attack. They require a lot of management at these temperatures.”

“Hamilton and Vettel behave like spoiled children”

“The tires overheat very easily”

“It’s a solid start to the weekend.summarized the chief engineer, Andrew Shovlin. The car behaves more normally here. We’ve made progress in reducing bounce with the new aero parts and the pace is a step up; not yet at the level of Red Bull and Ferrari but we got out of the middle of the pack”.

“We also had an uneventful introduction of our #2 engines with the two driverschained the Brackley technician. The conditions are tough for the tyres: they overheat very easily and the level of degradation is high, which will make the strategy quite interesting. We’re going to run the Brackley simulator tonight, to try and find a bit more performance but at least we have a good base.”

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