Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has suggested his team may base its 2023 car on another more successful design from this year, a famous name made its return to the F1 pit lane and Nicholas Latifi suffered yet another 2022 setback.
Here’s what you might have missed from the 2022 Canadian GP:
Toto Wolff suggests Mercedes 2023 F1 car rethink
Porpoising, bouncing and general lumbar pain has been the name of Mercedes’ game so far this season, with Brackley searching for a way to run its car low to the ground to gain performance without skimming the surface.
Team boss Wolff suggested that next year’s design might draw inspiration from Red Bull, which he says is even managing to crank rake into its RB18’s running angle now. This would accelerate airflow underneath the car and increase downforce.
“I think before you start on next season, you need to understand what the problem is,” said Wolff to Sky after the race when asked if the team might rethink its ’23 design.
“I think what was interesting to see here, when you compare the ride height of the cars, [is that] Red Bull has been a massive outlier, it actually has rake again in the car, [whereas] we are on the far end, with a car that’s flat on the ground.
“So you look at the stopwatch, and you know what’s the way to go.”
Might we see the W14 apeing the the RB18?
Mercedes’ “global issue”
Whether or not it decides to ‘do a Racing Point‘ and copy Red Bull, Mercedes is still allegedly pushing to change the rules around ride height and porpoising to regain some performance ground.
However, it is also framing this around a driver safety issue, giving it more of a benevolent angle, and seemingly at times using its drivers as mouth pieces for the campaign.
Hamilton in particular has been complaining of back issues, but Red Bull boss Christian Horner says if he were in Mercedes’ position, he would tell drivers to “bitch all they could” in an effort to bring the FIA round and make a regulation change – George Russell continued to make his feelings known in Canada.
“This global issue of this year’s cars hasn’t gone away,” Russell commented on the FIA’s new technical directive aimed at helping drivers.
“It was bumpy out there. The revisions that the FIA brought this weekend with the extra floor stay did nothing hence why we didn’t race it. The angle of it didn’t allow to hold the floor up.”
However, the Mercedes drivers aren’t the only ones feeling the strain and raising concerns: Kevin Magnussen’s physio, Thomas Jorgensen, told Motor Sport that spinal fractures could be caused if the porpoising continues.
“If they keep going like this then it will affect their health,” he said.
Lando Norris wasn’t best pleased after a lacklustre performance all round left him down in 15th come the end of the race.
“****. I don’t think there’s even much to discuss,” he said on the team radio as he crossed the line. ” I don’t even know what to say.”
A power unit problem meant Norris was stranded in 14th for Q2 whilst his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo progressed, but climbing up the order on Sunday seemed a tall order.
The Brit was 12th by the time the second VSC came out for Mick Schumacher’s stricken Haas on lap 20, but a planned double-stack pitstop soon turned to disaster.
Ricciardo had a slow tyre change, and when Norris followed him in it appeared the right Pirellis weren’t ready, losing the latter around 7sec and leaving him dead last, stranded behind Latifi’s Williams and eventually coming home 15h.
“I think just everything went wrong today,” Norris said. “Mistakes from my side, mistakes form the team. There was just not many positives at all.
“I was stuck behind the Williams they’re so fast, probably the quickest in the straights, and we’re probably the slowest in straights and then it’s literally impossible to overtake so we can’t do anything.
“It’s just not anywhere where we want it. Maybe at times things look great, but it’s never really like genuine pace. We’re a little bit there on luck sometimes and a day like today when it’s just more simple and you don’t have luck on your side, it shows where you’re actually at – the car’s not good enough.”
2022 just goes from bad to worse for Latifi.
“Oh no, I just hit a groundhog!” he said, sounding genuinely upset after eliminating one of his furry friends at the first chicane. “****, I could have avoided it, I was in the braking zone.”
“It’s fine,” his slightly less distressed Williams engineer told him.
Penske makes F1 return
46 years after it exited F1, American behemoth Penske was spotted finally making its return to the grand prix circus – though not quite at 200mph.
— BWT Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) June 16, 2022