Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is set for further disappointment this season, as his request for a change in rules is expected to fall on deaf ears.
Hamilton was in excruciating pain during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, a problem that was widely expected to have been caused due to the W13’s porpoising issues.
However, according to ex-vice-president Norbert Haug, a change in rules is extremely unlikely. This goes on to assert the views of Red Bull boss Christian Horner, who believes that any change in rules at this stage of the season would be “unfair”. =
Haug argued that Mercedes will need to solve its problem by seeking a solution from its engineers as the FIA would not be in a position to grant the team any special privileges.
“I can’t imagine that there will be a rule reform, especially since Red Bull has already pointed out that it would be an unfair act,” Haug said.
“I don’t think the Mercedes problem can be solved in the short term.”
Hamilton was seen screaming in agony at one point during the race, but Mercedes engineer James Vowles was unable to understand exactly why the British driver was under so much discomfort at the time.
You would expect his teammate to stick up for him, and George Russell duly did, when he said that something nasty could happen if these issues were not addressed by the FIA.
However, concern came from other drivers as well, with Ricciardo claiming that there was no exaggeration in Hamilton’s behaviour and his discomfort was very much real.
Meanwhile, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was also championing the case of a change in rules since most drivers now felt it (porpoising) “is a real issue”.
Why is Mercedes W13 like a ‘jackhammer’?
Haug labeled the Mercedes W13 as a “jackhammer” and said it was always bound to struggle that much more this season. The porpoising eliminates any advantage that the superior powertrain earlier granted the team, according to Haug.
“On a slippery track and in the wind tunnel it works, and when there’s no bobbing, the car can be driven with a lot of downforce. But when the intake effect keeps breaking, it’s kind of like driving a jackhammer,” Haug said.
“And this will not be remedied by changing the regulations, but must be initiated by the team.”
Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles himself admitted that the team had pushed Hamilton too far in Azerbaijan and a repeat of that is unlikely in Montreal.
“On this occasion though we pushed the package and our drivers too far. We are putting them in significant discomfort and we simply can’t do that again,” Vowles said.
Norris recommends a quick fix for Mercedes
While there may be a quick fix to Mercedes’ problems, as pointed out by McLaren driver Lando Norris, it may come at the expense of performance. Norris feels that is why Mercedes doesn’t appear to be keen on adopting this in a hurry.
“I’m sure the Mercedes can have a much stiffer floor and raise the ride height and it would be much nicer for them,” Norris said.
“But they obviously just don’t want to lose performance. I don’t think it’s anything to complain about, it’s just people need to find a way of fixing it themselves.”