James Vowles, the chief strategist, hopes for a return of Mercedes F1 in the “two or three next races” after Lewis Hamilton and George Russell suffered a snub in terms of pure performance at Paul Ricard.
According to him, there is still a big difference in development compared to rivals Ferrari and Red Bull and porpoising remains a big problem for the team.
“It’s clear that at the start of the season there was porpoising and we were really affected by that and much more than the others. If I think back to Baku or Monaco, we even lost up to a second sometimes lap only with rebounds.”
“We’ve worked so hard now, I don’t know if the cameras could show it, but now I feel we’re better than Ferrari or Red Bull in this area. However, we have to keep the car in a less aggressive range of settings. than them.”
“Today it’s not a question of porpoising anymore, it’s a question of development to go even further in the range of settings.”
This phenomenon has really cost Mercedes F1 dearly. Both in terms of track time and lost time on the two top teams.
“Before, in a wind tunnel, it was very simple. You worked in the tunnel, you calculated the improvements, it was very simple. Now it doesn’t work like that anymore, you have to find a development that doesn’t make you not porpoise at the same time and you can’t simulate that in a wind tunnel.”
“Ferrari and Red Bull have done much better than us, we are finishing learning after them. We are almost 6 months behind. I’m sure we will be back, I know we are still a bit behind, we have it seen again in France.”
“We see signs of progress in our testing at the factory. I believe in the next two or three races, after the summer break, we will really come back to them.