Mercedes says that it first noticed issues with its 2022 challenge on the day it launched the car in February earlier this year.
Mercedes entered the year looking to take a ninth consecutive Constructors’ Championship, as well as its eighth Drivers’ title in nine years.
However, it soon became apparent at the start of the campaign that it was unable to fight against rivals Red Bull and Ferrari for race victories.
It took until the second last round of the season in Brazil for it to take a grand prix win, with George Russell besting team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the top spot.
Although the issues were more prevalent at pre-season testing, Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin says that it first noticed irregularities when the car took to the Silverstone circuit in a demo run as part of its launch.
“The signs were there from the very, very early running, even on the filming day that we did at Silverstone,” Shovlin said.
“We then went for three days in Barcelona and the car was not that competitive but we were expecting a big update that we were going to bring to Bahrain and that was the point that we realised that we had a serious issue at that Bahrain Test.
“We put the update kit on and it simply didn’t make the car go quicker. Now, it’s been an interesting year from there on, but it has been a lot of work to do to try and get on top of those problems.”
Mercedes spent much of the opening portion of the year attempting to understand its car, while it was also forced to contend with a difficult porpoising problem.
However, it gradually made progress over the season, with Shovlin hopeful that its season-ending form will carry over to 2023.
“The big body of work that’s been going on for the last number of months has been to make sure that those issues on the 13 don’t get carried into the 14,” he said.
“We made good progress there and you can see that in some of the later updates particularly the update that we brought to Austin just put us that bit closer to the front.
“A lot of our focus was making sure we can develop an update kit, bring it to the track and actually see it translate to performance and hopefully the culmination of that work will mean that we can get an altogether more competitive package together for next year.”
Leave a Reply