Mercedes still baffled by Miami performance variation


Mercedes tech boss Mike Elliott says the Brackley still doesn't understand the divergence in performance of its W13 car in Miami between Friday and Saturday.

On the opening day of running at the Miami International Autodrome, George Russell topped the timesheets in FP2 while Lewis Hamilton was fourth, a result that suggested a potential breakthrough for Mercedes in Florida.

But the following day in qualifying, both Mercedes drivers fell back in the pecking order, unable to hold their spot among the top four, while Russell and Hamilton finished respectively fifth and sixth on race day.

Asked on Mercedes post-race Q&A on YouTube why there had been such a performance variation for its silver arrow within a span of 24 hours, Elliott was at a loss to provide an answer.


"That's a really good question and it's a question that we are trying to answer at the moment," he said.

"I think if you were to look at Friday's running it was probably the most competitive we've been at any point through the season so far.

"Between Friday and Saturday we will have made some changes and actually those changes were fairly minor, but there were also changes in conditions and we need to go through all of that data, extract as much understanding as we can from that and use that to move forward over the next couple of races."

Mercedes' chronic porpoising issues were once again at the forefront of its troubles in Florida. While the team's engineers have yet to harness the problem, their knowledge of the problem is improving with each passing race.

"The experiments we were doing on track trying to understand the bouncing, we gathered a lot of data," Elliott explained.

"We gathered a lot of data on Friday when we had strong performance and we gathered data through the race and as always, the engineers are pouring through that, gaining understanding.

"In fact, every time we run the car we learn something new and that is the aim of the game, the game is to try and understand the car faster than our competitors."

The Mercedes technical director said that no effort is being spared to try and get to grips with the W13's problems and move the car forward.

"Although at the moment we are on the back foot a little bit with that, there is a huge amount of effort, a huge amount of work going in trying to understand how we improve the car, how do we find that next little step forward, how do we get rid of the bouncing and how do we get back to being competitive or competitive relative to the front-running team, which is where we want to be," he added.

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