Gary Anderson has highlighted Mercedes’ suspension trick, saying it is absolutely legal and an engineering marvel.
Fans noticed that the Mercedes cars were employing a mechanism wherein ride height being dropped is granting them extra speed on the straights. Some accused Mercedes of cheating, but they were made to look silly by those in the know, and now by Anderson.
Anderson highlighted Mercedes’ suspension trick, and said that it was a brilliant, and more importantly legal piece of engineering.
“On the latest episode of The Race F1 Podcast, one of the things I talked about was the diffuser stall on the Mercedes giving it extra straight-line speed,” he wrote in his column.
“Now, we can see exactly how that effect is being achieved by dropping the rear ride height of its cars on the straights.
“As the diffuser gets closer to the ground, the airflow that passes underneath the main flat part of the floor can’t move fast enough through there to feed the diffuser. This means the airflow stalls.
“When that happens, you lose a load of downforce from underneath the car, but you also shed a load of drag. The key is that you only want do this on the straights where you don’t care about the downforce loss, and not in the corners.
“This means that when the car’s going round, say, a left-hand corner, the right-hand side rear suspension will be in compression and the left side will be extending. Then, the central link that’s connected between the two rear rocker assemblies does nothing – it basically travels sideways because one is compressing and the other is extending.”
Anderson also praised Mercedes for being ahead of the curve, and said that the advantage granted would be a crucial one.
“But the big thing is when you look at a lap of the Mercedes against the Red Bull, the Mercedes in general is just faster through corners and on the straights,” he continued.
“It’s potentially a massive advantage and I doubt Red Bull can copy it because it runs the high rake on its car. So it’s a clever, effective and legal idea that’s going to be very difficult for Red Bull to get on top of.”