Mercedes has found “several directions” that can cure the porpoising on its 2022 Formula 1 car, according to team boss Toto Wolff.
The Brackley-based team has made its worst start to a season in the V6 hybrid era after failing to win any of the opening four races, with the W13 plagued by ongoing issues related to porpoising.
The problem first arose in pre-season testing and Mercedes has since struggled to find answers as to how get around the issue. George Russell admitted he suffered from chest and back pain at the previous race in Imola due to the severity of the bouncing.
Trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin previously hinted the team would bring upgrades to the Miami Grand Prix aimed at solving the porpoising, but warned it wouldn’t fix the issue “overnight”.
Wolff revealed Mercedes has been running simulations aimed at improving the performance of its 2022 car, and confirmed the team would experiment with its findings in Miami.
“It was a very difficult weekend for us in Imola,” said Wolff. “George did a great job to finish P4 from an unpromising starting position but with Lewis, we didn’t give him the tools or track position to show his true pace.
“Since we returned from Italy, we’ve learned as much from the weekend as we can and, in parallel, our learning has continued in the wind tunnel and simulations.
“We have found several directions for improving the car, and we will be conducting experiments in Miami to correlate those simulations, and hopefully confirm the development path for the coming races.”
Mercedes sits third in the constructors’ championship 36 points behind Red Bull with Ferrari a further 11 points clear, but despite the gap, both of its cars have completed all but one racing lap this year.
As Mercedes looks to turnaround its difficult start to the season in F1’s first visit to the Miami International Autodrome this weekend, Wolff insists the recent struggles have “lit a fire” inside the team.
“Both drivers have been working in the simulator ahead of Miami and the factories have been busy producing updates for the next races,” he said.
“The saying ‘smooth seas do not make good sailors’ comes to mind. This team has shown its resilience over many years and the difficult start to this season has lit a fire within every team member, determined to put it right.
“Miami is an exciting new challenge and a complete step into the unknown. The track looks demanding, with a real mix of low and high-speed corners, and it’s set to be a spectacular showcase for the sport to our growing US fanbase.”