jordanb wrote: ↑
Mon Dec 26, 2022 10:24 am
djones wrote: ↑
Sat Dec 24, 2022 8:21 pm
For once I actually agree with Marko.
In terms of the W14 I reckon it will look very similar and have the same side pods. But under the floor, supporting components and suspension will be where all the work has gone with an aim to work is a much wider set of conditions and bumps etc.
As they claimed all year long, the car was suffering from drag which was why they were slower through straights. If they retain the same aero philosophy with the same side pods, how are they going to address the drag problem? If anyone claims, it's possible with the same exact aero philosophy, then why couldn't they get rid of it with W13 itself?
I agree with you. They need to make sure their car is fast(er) in a straight line. That will then give them at least some chance of being able to attack in corners after a moderately long straight section. A perfect example of that is the Brazil race between the 2 drivers. One was faster in the twistier section, but overtaking was hard, however the other driver then had the edge on the straights which reset that cornering advantage back to zero. Its also important to note tyre temp and deg aswell, a car will be using the tyres considerably more through the corners than a car down the straight. Just the faster car in a straight line needs to protect the tyres more if they have a little less grip and slide around.
Realistically, I cant see any suspension or floor changes helping massively to close nearly half a second on race pace to the top team(s). We seen the W13 was quick in locations with less air density thus making the drag 'penalty' less, allowing them to be faster - and they were competitive. Personally I feel that alone shows that drag is the issue with the concept. I dont believe fully in the cars braking performance being unpredictable and I also think that the cars being able to ride the kerbs is the same for all cars on the grid. The ground effect philosophy of cars doesn't want the car to be unsettled or lifted half up over kerbs, it wants the air to flow under the floor and pull the car to the ground to give the grip.
That's explained in this video from roughly 1mins 45 (although the full video is a good watch)
If your over the kerbs you will lose that effect under the floor.
If it was as easy as bolting some fresh engine covers on, or tweaking a bit of bodywork to angle the air more outwards, we absolutely would have seen Mercedes bring upgrades to stop/reduce the drag on their car. Mercedes knew that they couldn't solve that problem giving the packaging etc of their car which would need a re-design.
However, lets think back to pre-season testing or testing weekend 1 where the Merc actually had side pods. I wonder why they couldn't modify that design to work - unless there is rule/regulations about a second set of bodywork under the outer bodywork, or air was passing between the outer skin and inner skin and also the ducting for cooling. Who knows. We seen plenty of teams bring multiple engine covers through the season, so I dont think that the idea was ever off the table for Mercedes.
We know that some of the outwashing methods that Mercedes brought through the season are banned for next year - the front wing with the slotted end plate - which was solely there to move air away from the tyre area and to the outside of the car - again saying Mercedes have the issue with drag and air hitting the tyre frontal areas. I did look back at the W13 car thread (pages 190 onwards when they brought the outwashing front wing) to see if there was a speculated 'time' that that wing would give them - however I couldn't see anything.
I really do think we will see a W14 with sidepods next year - if we dont, then I think it could well be another season of bother for Mercedes, especially given the 2023 aero changes.