Sierra117 wrote: ↑
Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:14 pm
Very well put.
What do you think might be the reason behind Merc finding it hard year after year when it comes to understanding tyres and/or general mechanical handling? It's not like Merc doesn't have experience building racing cars outside of F1. Afterall they built some of the most brilliant cars (ahh CLK GTR <3)
Thanks. I can only guess (not an expert and have very limited understanding) and my take is, the low rake that they run with, doesn't allow much of a room for the suspension to be flexible for setup changes. I remember reading once in 2017, when Lewis had mentioned that, it hurts his bu** as the suspension was so rigid and they had to bear the hits on bumpy parts of the track.
While the low rake helps them in some parts as in, they don't want to manage the unnecessary ride height changes that the relative high rake brings, where you need the rear to sit down on straights and come up in corner entry, but again go down at the corner exit. That whole process seems like more disturbing to the aerodynamic balance of the car and Mercedes prefers the steady state for both entry and exit. But that high rake philosophy helps in suspension movement absorbing the aero load and not transfer it completely on to the wheels, which relatively puts lesser loads into the tyres. But the Mercedes philosophy of low rake, forces the suspension to become relatively rigid (as it cannot squat too much) and the resulting aero load in the corners, cooks their tyres as suspension isn't absorbing it. Hence, they have to look at ideas to remove the heat from tyres quickly (new rims), rather than creating solutions to put less heat in them. That is why, their cars relish the harder compounds which they can keep alive with higher temperatures and struggle with softest range.
The fact that, Pirelli keeps changing their construction almost every year, disturbs Mercedes' solutions, which are very specifically developed for a particular type of compound. It seems like Mercedes designers prefers a good steady state aero performance as the primary objective and tyre life as secondary. Most likely they believe that, that sort of aero philosophy is critical for performance on circuits that have fast, flowing corners with decently long straights. Most tracks on the calendar feature those characteristics and if you observe, the Mercedes cars excels in Bahrain, Spain, Britain, Spa, Japan and US to name a few. Whenever the Mercedes cars blends with the tyres, they dominate. WIth them making progress on slow corner performance (Singapore last year), they should be good be good for most tracks on the calendar.
This year, not just that Pirelli has introduced new tyres, the new regulations should have also changed the overall behavior of the car. So, it's not hard to understand why they would go fight the ghosts of past experiences again.