Mercedes has had a lot of problems this year like never before. Hard work awaits them in the future. Of course, they will have to do their best if they want to match the greatest. Andrew Shovlin, head of trackside engineering, had something to say after a poor result in Imola: "We've struggled with warm up with this car to be honest,”- Shovlin said, as quoted by motorsport “And we've not got to the bottom of it.
And today was a fairly painful example of that, where we couldn't get the runs in that were long enough to build the temperature to get the tyres in the right window. “We've seen it at all the races. In Bahrain it doesn't really cost you, and all the other tracks, it's actually been a bit of a difficulty in qualifying.
Race pace has normally been good, I think we've demonstrated that we're third quickest on race pace. “The problem is on the single lap we seem to be very much in the midfield. And it's an area that we are working on, but we don't yet fully understand."
So is it largely an aerodynamic or mechanical issue? Shovlin suggested that the answer is not so straightforward. "I don't think it's aerodynamic in a very simple sense, because we race quite well, we race clear at the midfield,” he noted.
“On a single lap, a lot of the midfield teams are better than us. And we wouldn't say that's because they've got more downforce than us on a single lap. And likewise, I don't think it'll be a kinematics thing.
“There's things you can do with the spec of the car to try and have a bit more heating from the brakes. But that's a relatively subtle effect. As I said, we don't know whether there's something else in terms of how we're setting the car up, or how we're approaching the way that we're generating heat in the tyres.
“But it is an area we've got to get to grips with, because it keeps holding us back on Saturday."
Using brakes for managing tire temperatures was again a problem, and Shovlin said: “Before you could get the hot air from the brakes straight onto the rim,” Shovlin explained.
“And you get a very rapid transition there of the heat through into the bulk of the rubber. The regulations have been designed to make that difficult, and they've succeeded. “As I said, we still need to understand why we can't match some of the mid-grid teams, even.
We know Red Bull and Ferrari have got more downforce right now. But we should be able to perform in the same position that we're racing, which is realistically third-quickest team."