Massive analysis solved 'diva car' issues, says Mercedes' Owen


Mercedes dug in deeper than ever into the analysis of its W08 to solve the car's inconsistent set-up issues, says chief designer John Owen.

The well-chronicled problems which affected the Silver Arrows' 2017 charger evolved around the inconsistent way in which the W08 handled its tyres.

Ultimately, Mercedes prevailed in both the driver and Constructors' world championships, but the German team clearly suffered a deficit to arch-rival Ferrari in the early part of its 2017 campaign.

"With this car, we didn't understand it, and I think the term 'diva' came along because we seemed to do what looked like the right things and it didn't respond the way we wanted it to," Owen told

"In those early races we were pretty confused to be honest, and we really didn't know what we should do."

As the car's inconsistent behaviour set in, Mercedes focused specifically on how the W08 consumed the rubber of its rear tyres.

"Throughout the year our car was probably heavier on its rear tyres - some were heavier on their front tyres," added Owen.

"It's trying to work out the best way to run your car to balance the wear both ends.

"We found tracks like Silverstone, Montreal, or Monza, Austin, Suzuka – these are really good tracks for us, but the slower tracks, the hotter circuits, we struggled more."

Owen underlined the massive amount of analysis which was undertaken to cure the W08 of its recalcitrant issues.

"We tried a lot of things and gradually, as the races went by, the more we thought about it, the more analysis we did – and I'd say we did more than any other year in digging into and understanding – we started to get on top of those issues.

"That's been great, and I think at the end of the season we probably wouldn't call our car a diva anymore.

"Certainly, we intend to knock out as many of those awkward characteristics as we can for next year, and hopefully not introduce any new ones."

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