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Toto Wolff

Wolff adamant Mercedes W13 has hidden 'aerodynamic goodness'

Mercedes have had a challenging start to the opening rounds of the 2022 F1 season, but team boss Toto Wolff remains hopeful that the team can unlock the potential from their car.

Hamilton rain Imola
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To news overview © XPB

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team remain intent on allowing their W13 car the time to come good, despite describing it as "undriveable" following the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Despite an impressive performance from George Russell, Lewis Hamilton's nightmare weekend at Imola saw him finish both qualifying and the race outside of the top 10 for the first time since the 2009 German Grand Prix.

After the race, Wolff took to the team's radio communications to apologise to the seven-time World Champion for the car that Mercedes have provided him with.

Porpoising has been blamed for the Silver Arrows' issues, with the W13's under-floor aerodynamics resulting in a bouncing effect at high speed.

As a result, the team have been unable to run their car at the desired ride height, limiting their set-up choices and, thus, hindering how it performs on the track.

Mercedes focused on lowering their car

As Mercedes are still fighting to learn why their car is porpoising more severely than that of their rivals, the W13 is yet to recieve any major updates in 2022.

The team are planning upgrades for the Miami Grand Prix weekend but, for now, it remains to be seen how dramatic those modifications will be, with the squad focused on extracting the "aerodynamic goodness" that they believe already lies within.

"We very much believe that the science that we're putting in at the moment will help us to, in effect, run the car lower, where we believe we have all the aerodynamic goodness," said Wolff, speaking to members of the media, including RacingNews365.com.

"We haven't been able to unlock that because of the bottoming of the car. If we are able to finally get on top of that, that means there's quite some lap time we can find.

"If not, we need to have another idea."

Wolff admits changes could have cost cap impact

"If we don't get on top of [the porpoising], then there is a more conventional development path that we have not yet taken," continued Wolff, hinting that a change of development direction has been considered.

"I want to give us the time to really properly take such a decision."

But, should the team decide to make wholesale changes to their W13 concept, or perhaps launch a new B-spec car, they must do so without spending beyond their budget cap.

Mercedes and their rivals are restricted to spending $140 million in 2022, a shrinking of $5m from the 2021 limit. However, Wolff says that this has not yet had an impact on their development process.

"We haven't changed the concept," he explained, before admitting: "If you were to do something else, that could potentially go against your cost cap, yes."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Are Red Bull now favourites and has Hamilton hit a new low?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look back over the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Red Bull triumphed, Ferrari hit trouble and Mercedes struggled.

F1 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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