Mercedes pair of Mike Elliott and Toto Wolff discuss early part of 2022 especially the winter, testing and the porpoising issues.
With the F1 season over by five weeks now, most of the teams and personnel are looking towards winter testing and the opening round in Bahrain after a good rest. But the reflection of 2022 doesn’t stops as the year gave some valuable lessons to all in this new era of regulation.
Mercedes personnel Wolff and Elliott discuss the campaign just over, looking back at focal parts of the campaign especially at the start of the year and winter testing when they first had the chance to ascertain that they might be a behind.
Winter of 2021 and pre-season testing 2022 –
Elliott: “Through the normal development over the winter, it felt good, so, to then roll into winter testing and to find some fairly major problems with the car was pretty dispiriting.”
Wolff: “I remember that we were discussing it in October, how exciting it was to find performance through the floor and that the real trick was how low can we actually get the car. And I guess that sent us off to the wrong trajectory.”
Elliot: “I think the aerodynamics of these cars are such that they want to run really low to the ground. What we were finding in the tunnel was huge gains with the car operating in that way and I think when you look back at the season in hindsight, we pushed too hard in that direction and I think we’ve learned a lot as a result of that. Any normal season up to now you’ve been able to look at what comes out of Hywel’s world and the Power Unit, what comes out of the wind tunnel and also out of our simulation and know where you are going to be with the car and normally, we start the season with a pretty good understanding of where our performance is going to be relative to the previous car. Obviously, you don’t know what your competitors are going to do but you know where you are going to be, and I think this is the first season I can remember in a long time where we started with a problem we didn’t predict.”
Slip from top form –
Wolff: “For me personally it was an interesting journey because obviously we had a massively successful run of eight consecutive championships, and we knew the day would come where it is going to be difficult. But coming out not understanding what was happening. and it’s a relative game, some of our competitors understood or seemed to have a high-performing car was particularly difficult and, that it took us so many months to filter out and say well, this is what the fundamental problem is, and it cost us the season in effect.”
Porpoising trouble –
Elliott: “The problems we saw with bouncing were there across the grid but to different extents and I think the position we found ourselves in at the worst end of that extreme made life very difficult for us. My role starting as a new Technical Director was not a great position to be in, but I think what’s pleased me is the response to that. I think the response of the team, the way the team has stuck together and got on and tried to understand that, the progress we made is the bit I am pleased with. The sort of position we found ourselves in at the beginning of the season it was really challenging.”
Teamwork seen in 2022 –
Wolff: “Only in the toughest of environments you learn the most and it would have been maybe a different story continuing to win but I think this is from a personal development point, and as a leader, super important and I am sure about that, as difficult as it was sometimes.”
Elliott: “I think we’ve all said that we only know how good a team we are when the difficult times come. I think you learn the most from those and hopefully that’s what we carry into future years.”
It was a difficult season for Mercedes who suffered more than most in the early parts of the campaign. A good mid-season and strong consistent finish saw them rise massively and should re challenge in 2023.
Here’s how the F1 2022 teams were categorised in ranking: https://formularapida.net/f1-2022-teams-categorised-in-tier-system-for-their-performances/
Here’s how the F1 2022 drivers were categorised in ranking: https://formularapida.net/f1-2022-drivers-categorised-in-tier-system-for-their-performances/
Here’s drivers’ list of Top 10 drivers
Here’s the team bosses list of Top 10 drivers
Here’s Lewis Hamilton picks his races of 2022
Here’s Mercedes pair on moments for Mercedes in 2022
Here’s George Russell on relation with Lewis Hamilton
Here’s Mick Schumacher joining Mercedes
Here’s Mercedes on being tough situation already in testing