Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has confirmed that his team has already found the solution to its early-season problems, but is hesitant to use it as it would “take them back to square one”.
The Silver Arrows were once again off the pace during Friday’s practice sessions at Albert Park in Melbourne.
In fact, the W13 was almost 1.4 seconds slower per lap compared to frontrunner Charles Leclerc of Ferrari.
Porpoising was a big problem for a number of teams in the beginning of the season.
While many of them managed to find a solution and thereby get consistency in the way the car performs, this problem seemed even more accentuated than ever before for the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in Melbourne.
Wolff doesn’t want to use quick fix
Wolff has now revealed his hesitation in applying a quick fix that will solve all of Mercedes’ problems.
He believes if they do go ahead with it, it will halt all the advancement they are making as far as development is concerned and will end up being a step backward.
“We underestimated the aero effect of the underbody and are now trying to solve that without going the obvious route,” Wolff said.
“The easiest thing would be to make the floor stiffer. However, we believe that we can maintain the aerodynamic performance without it becoming rock hard.
“Since the extremely high speeds cannot be tested in the simulator, this has to be learned on the track.”
Shovlin not used to being in this position
Mercedes’ trackside engineer Andrew Shovlin is believed to be putting in a number of extra hours to somehow find the solution the team is desperate for.
He admitted that the position Mercedes finds itself in is uncommon and one that they are not enjoying one bit.
“It was not an easy day overall, but we’re getting used to those this year,” Shovlin said.
“We already have some ideas of which direction we can go with the set-up, and will do more work overnight in Brackley to understand those changes better, so fingers crossed we can move forward overnight.”