Mercedes 2022: the difficulties produced by the Beam Wing on the W13 “B”

F1 – When the leaders of the Formula One they established that they had to cut with the past by building a new technical regulation they had a clear goal in mind: make the cars less aerodynamically complex. A process that, according to them, would have flattened the performance differences between the teams and, at the same time, would have created cars less sensitive to contrails, such as to be able to follow better cornering without losing precious tenths of a second or overly stressing the tires.

If the objectives have been achieved we will know in some time. The first indications are encouraging even if some dependence on the DRS it continues to reveal itself. Only with the developments will we really know if the machines will not fall into the same problems they were plagued with in previous years. Certainly, in the months to come, F1 designs will become more similar to each other, tending to replicate that of those who place themselves in the tread position. Discrepancies in terms of downforce and drag will also be reduced.

Triple comparison on the heights between Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull

When this happens, if it does, the difference between the motors will be felt more sensitively. It’s a logical question: by keeping the aerodynamics constant, it will be the propulsive thrust that marks the differences between the protagonists who battle it out on the track. Obviously this is a stretch because performance differences are the result of the various layout they will persist anyway. But they may be less incisive than they are today.

If the propulsion unit were to really start making a difference so drastically who has one in the heart of the machine power unit baked from the factory of Brixworth he may begin to tremble. At this time the V6 by Hywel Thomas it is offering performance that is not in line with expectations. Mercedes, McLaren, Aston Martin and Williams they are not doing well. All single-seaters sharing the Anglo-German turbo-hybrid V6. A case? For Toto Wolff Yes. We see.

The Mercedes V6 engine

According to the big boss of the Silver Arrows the engine represents at most a couple of tenths of the total deficit of the car. And things to put right there W13 it has several. We talked about it several times: the porpoising is the first real limit of the project to “zero sidepod“. To contain it, it is necessary to act on the set-up, generating an unstable car because it is too high from the ground and too rigid in the suspensions. Hence difficulties in braking, inability to unload power to the ground under acceleration and poor handling when changing direction at high speed. Conditions that a Jeddah they cost almost a second per lap.

To this certainly gloomy picture is added a heavy one aerodynamic drag which makes the W13 a slow car at speed trap. It causes? It is difficult to imagine that sidepod so narrow they can be the cause of the aerodynamic drag. The big suspect could be the beam wingthe wing placed above the diffuser.

Lewis Hamilton during the wet tests of spain.

There beam wing it is not a new element for the F1. This is something that was already present on machines in the period between 2009 and the 2013. Its function has remained virtually unchanged. Today, however, it plays a much more important role due to its position relative to the diffuser and rear wing. Before the hybrid era, this element was positioned exactly above the extractor.

Although it managed to generate some points of aerodynamic load, the flow that hit the element was scarce and not very clean. This is why being able to feed it in the most correct way was very important. The main function remained that of creating a depression on the ground that would lead to an increase in the extraction of flows from the bottom of the car.

Now, however, this component is housed on the trailing edge of the extractor. In this way it becomes almost a physical extension of the same and the effects are much more consistent. However, the method by which it works does not change, as it still produces a low pressure that extends below the diffuser and which helps to extract a greater flow of air. There beam wingtherefore, it should not be understood as a simple profile whose load must be added to that generated by the rear wing, but rather as a crucial component to help the bottom work better.

George Russell on track for the second free practice session of the Saudi Arabian GP

There W13apparently, it lacks efficiency precisely in this neuralgia area and its own in this area we understand that Mercedes has been working to make important corrections since the Australian GP. But that still doesn’t explain why customer teams also lose speed on the straights. The fact is that Wolff is refractory to consider the engine the cause of the ills of the motorized by the Three Pointed Star. Evidently the data collected in the first two GPs, correlated with the work in the factory, indicate to the engineers that the causes of the ills of the Silver Arrow are purely aerodynamic.

The Austrian manager, referring to the creature of the duo James Allison – Mike Elliottbelieves that one should not point fingers at individual sections of the project. The deficit is overall and does not concern only the engine, even if it recognizes that the supremacy of the past is a memory.

TO Brackley they know very well that the engine Mercedes it was one of the main weapons to win eight world championships in a row. Imagining that overnight they have lost the power that they showed unequivocally until last December is difficult. Despite biofuels E10 that some headaches to the staff directed by Thomas they might have given.

For Mercedes a crucial world stage opens. Between Australia, Imola and Barcelona a new aerodynamic package should become fully operational. Only then will we know whether the problems have been solved and whether the potential of the car can be fully extracted. Now it is difficult to identify a single responsible, which is why the engine is not considered the greatest handicap of an extreme and complicated project to manage. Also because the feeling is strong as well McLaren, Williams and Aston Martin have produced aerodynamically anything but effective single-seaters.

F1-Author: Diego Catalano @ diegocat1977

Photo: F1, Mercedes AMG F1, Albert Fabrega

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