zibby43 wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:05 am
GPR -A wrote: ↑
Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:46 pm
Does anyone else think the W10 has become slower with their German GP package? It seems like that package has added more drag, but hasn't significantly enhanced the cornering performance. They are also struggling to set it up fluently like it used to be in the early part. Up until then Bottas was flying and with the introduction of German GP package, he is almost nowhere! Drivers like Bottas and Kimis perform well when the car is in the right zone and when it is not, they fade away.
Their pace deficit on straight line compared to Ferrari, I guess has more to do with Mercedes carrying lot more drag for what it is worth in terms of downforce. In Sochi, they were slower than Red Bull on straight line on one lap pace! Their race pace is more lively when the compounds get harder, which is primarily due to the level of downforce they have compared to others that works the tyres harder, but equally, the drag penalty is punishing in one lap pace. May be I am wrong, but that's how it feels, especially considering Bottas as a reference.
Merc is pretty darn good at correlation and they were very adamant that the upgrade delivered the downforce points they were expecting. I thought they finally got on top of the package in Spa and Monza. They were seriously quick there, on Ferrari's turf (nabbed 4 out of the 6 podium positions and with one more lap at Spa and no "warning" for LEC at Monza, Hamilton would've won both).
Singapore was kind of a bizarre aberration (kind of like how Merc bagged pole there last year), but Merc have struggled there historically.
Red Bull have been struggling a bit relative to both Mercedes and Ferrari lately. Red Bull didn't have much race pace in Sochi (and that is usually their strong point). I thought Merc's race pace in Sochi was very solid, and in the post-race Paddock Pass, LEC suggested that Merc had better race pace.
4 things have happened for sure:
1) Ferrari have dumped tons of money and resources into their Singapore upgrades, and they definitely delivered a few tenths, but more importantly, the Ferrari is much easier to set up; they can get the tires working over a single lap now (which has been the goal with this car all season: to be a monster qualifier and then control the pace at the front)
2) Ferrari have had time to better understand the tires.
3) Merc have introduced virtually no upgrades since Germany (that is very, very unlike them; they're usually constantly bringing incremental gains between big packages).
4) Merc introduced the first component to their new front suspension (the remainder of which will be brought in Suzuka, along with Merc's final upgrade push of the season). I don't think they were able to get on top of it and Singapore, and I think they ended up getting surprised by Ferrari's pace there.
Not sure if anyone has paid attention to these stats. But I found this interesting. This is an article from Autosport, where Gary Anderson has compared Mercedes and Ferrari's performance between 2018 and 2019 qualifying in Sochi.
"Line" here is basically the start line.
It's incredible that, Mercedes has lost half a second in Sector 1, compared to last year and another 2 tenths in Sector 2. Sector 3 pretty much remains the same. Whereas Ferrari remains almost same as last year!
Gary also mentions this.
Sochi was actually the worst Mercedes qualifying performance of the season with a deficit of 0.439% to the front. Austria was its second-worst at 0.411%, again to Ferrari. Compared to Sochi 2018, Mercedes has simply lost a lot of performance in sector one and less, but still a loss, in sector two.
As I said earlier, perhaps it simply deploys the electrically-harnessed energy more efficiently, but Mercedes really does need to look at the overall efficiency of its aerodynamic package. It also needs to get on with the job and improve its performance on new tyres for that critical one lap in qualifying.
Make the car less nervous and it will give the drivers more confidence to carry more speed into the corner. Since the German GP upgrade package, it seems to have become a harder car to get the best out of in qualifying.
Well the W10 seems to be an extremely draggy car for the kind of downforce it has. Toto had mentioned that their philosophy was "Downforce at all costs", which could be why they are losing so much of performance in straight line, despite multiple upgrades to the PU in the last 12 months.
On the other hand, either Ferrari has more refined and efficient downforce and NOT SO MUCH of a powerful PU than Mercedes, which makes them faster in straight line; OR, they have similar drag to that of Mercedes, but a way more powerful PU (to the tune of 50 hp more), which doesn't seem to be true because of speed trap figures; Traction could be another factor, but Mercedes' PU is not a slouch on traction, so that isn't going to be such a big factor either. May be their German GP upgrade package is extremely draggy upgrade, which has made that impact in Sochi.
So, that leaves me with the belief that, there is too much drag W10 has and Mercedes should be trying to make more efficient aero as their primary target.