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Mercedes answer "million-dollar question" on slow car

Mercedes answer "million-dollar question" on slow car

F1 News

Mercedes answer "million-dollar question" on slow car

Mercedes answer "million-dollar question" on slow car

Mercedes chief technical officer James Allison has conceded its car is "falling short" in terms of its competitiveness as it continues to answer "the million-dollar question" as to why.

Allison has revealed the W13 was six-tenths of a second per lap slower than its main rivals in Ferrari and Red Bull in Bahrain, a chasm for a team that has been so accustomed to winning over the past eight years.

Allison has confirmed Mercedes' issues over the season-opening race weekend were as a result of it being forced to run a sizeable rear-wing to accommodate this year's new aerodynamic regulations and negate the significant porpoising effect of its cars.

"If you look at the cars coming down the straights one after the other [in Bahrain] and just look at the frontal area of the rear wings that each team has, you will see that we were running the biggest rear wing," said Allison in a Mercedes' debrief video.

"And rear wings are a large factor in how much drag the car has and the amount of drag a car has is a large factor in what the straight speed of the car will be."

Mercedes power unit not the problem

Allison has dismissed concerns over the lack of pace from the Mercedes power unit, insisting the differences across the four systems will be "small...if at all".

Instead, again referring to the wing, he added: "The rear wings, on the other hand, you can see the differences there and we did have the biggest wings.

"You might ask: Why were we running the biggest wing and if we were running the biggest wing, why didn’t we have the performance in our car that we might have hoped for? Well, that, of course, is the million-dollar question.

"We’ve spent a lot of time, effort and love on trying to make the car as quick as it possibly can be but we haven’t yet delivered something competitive.

"And we are having to run a big wing at the moment to give ourselves the downforce to do the best lap time we can with our car, but it is falling short of what is necessary for competitiveness."

Expecting inroads to be made, Allison concluded: "With a bit of luck, and in the coming races we will rapidly improve our car.

"That will allow us also to drag some rear wing out of it and will allow us to pick up our speed on the straight as a consequence.”

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