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Toto Wolff

Wolff explains Mercedes' Miami GP experiment plans

Mercedes are set to experiment with their W13 throughout the Miami Grand Prix weekend, with team boss Toto Wolff speaking about the process ahead of the event.

Hamilton Imola
Article
To news overview © Mercedes

The Mercedes F1 team will be carrying out some experimental set-up tweaks on their W13 this weekend in Miami, as the reigning Constructors' World Champions attempt to get on top of the porpoising issues that have plagued them since the start of the season.

Due to the extent of the uncontrollable bouncing, Mercedes have had to raise the ride height of the car in order to increase the distance between the floor and the tarmac.

While this has somewhat reduced the extent of the porpoising, it's had the negative consequence of reducing the car's downforce and, thus, its performance.

Heading into the Miami weekend, Wolff revealed that Mercedes have identified a few different directions that they could go with the W13, and intend on carrying out some experiments over the course of the three hours of practice time at the Miami International Autodrome.

No major updates, but plenty of experiments

While the team won't be introducing a major update to the W13 this weekend, Wolff confirmed that a few potential directions for reducing the porpoising have been identified.

This means the Miami weekend essentially serves as a weekend of evaluating proof-of-concept – if a solution does work, it helps the team to identify the route down which they could progress.

Speaking to media, including RacingNews365.com, at a sponsor event for IWC Schaffhausen in Miami on Thursday, Wolff explained the team's thought process heading into the weekend.

"[We're] trying to find a solution that not only fixes the bouncing," he said.

"You can fetch up the floor and make it stiffer, and reduce downforce, but, at least, make the car more stable – that's not the direction we're going.

"Unfortunately, with no testing, every race weekend is a little bit of a live experiment. You can't replicate the bouncing that we see on track in the wind tunnel.

"Therefore, it's like in the old days – a little bit of trial and error. What does it actually do in real life?

"Therefore, we are looking at a few directions where we believe they could help us to solve the problem long-term, without losing the goodness of the downforce by just lifting it up."

Mercedes not expecting a quick fix

But Wolff believes the team are unlikely to find a cure which could result in an immediate leap up to the front.

"There will be tweaks on the car this weekend where we think we can get more direction," he explained.

"But, the performance of the car, we won't unlock it from race weekend to the other."

Mercedes sit third in the Constructors' standings after the first four races, 47 points adrift of leaders Ferrari.

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