F1 Team Mercedes Had A Weakness Due To Long-Wheelbase?

Formula 1 Mercedes team has confirmed that they have managed to solve the weakness of its long-wheelbase concept. Lewis Hamilton mentioned that the difficulty they were facing in terms of corner rotation has also been solved.

The team has considered the regulation and has been at top of the game. Even though the longer car meant better downforce, the team has concerns regarding the ability of the car to stick to corners, in and out. As mentioned earlier, Mercedes had long-wheelbase which is now a problem of the past.

Shorter rivals like F1 team Red Bull has advantage over Mercedes since they are nimble around corners. While Mercedes has always believed that its long concept is the best spec to go with, it has had to battle hard with rivals as well as with the increased difficulty their drivers face in getting the car rotated in corners.

Hamilton stated that he was surprised to see that other teams have not opted the Mercedes style which means that his team will be preparing a better version to clear the cornering and downforce issues.

"With last year's car for example, we had the longest car," Hamilton said.

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"It's definitely been a bit of a surprise to see that none of the other teams have gone to the longest car.

"We've been winning with the longest car since 2017, and [other teams] are so stuck in the way they do things, in that 'we're still going to keep our car shorter.'

"Being that it's a long car, it's obviously got great downforce, but it's not as nimble as a shorter car.

"Last year our car was good through medium and high-speed corners, but was quite poor in low-speed corners. The car would not rotate as well as we'd like.

"We started this year in winter testing and the car had similar characteristics. I had some challenges that I put towards the team in terms of how we set the car up, which changed that.

"It's difficult to say too much but that difficulty we had last year with the car rotating, we don't have that problem any more."

Also see: Why Did Mercedes Have Issues In The Turkish GP Qualifying

Hamilton says he is a driver who always prefer a responsive front end, which has not always been the case with Mercedes in the last few seasons. Mercedes mentioned that the long-wheelbase has been a weakness which with grace has been solved.

However, he mentioned that the set-up characteristics has not been made within a single day because of the complexity involved in ensuring a change in car balance does not hurt the tyres too much.

"I've always preferred a more positive front end in the car, but there's a limitation with these tyres," he said.

"The front has a limitation, the rear has a limitation, grip wise.

"There's saturation, there's thermal deg and there's only a certain amount you can do with the mechanical balance before it affects the other end. It's like a see-saw.

"Last year our car was definitely very, very strong at the rear, and the car was generally driven by the rear end. The front was a lot more understeery last year.

"You struggled a lot more when you go over the tyre [grip] and no matter how much we put the mechanical rearwards it wouldn't really fix it.

"This year we have made some changes. With the aero balance it's a much longer process, you can't just change it.

"Definitely over the winter we fixed it and moved the aero balance more rearwards, so the car was shifting different, and also at different steering angles and different yaw. So it definitely is working a lot better."

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