Mercedes plans to experiment with the W15 in Melbourne

Mercedes race director Andrew Shovlin says the team is designing experiments for the Australian Grand Prix in an attempt to solve problems with the W15 car.

The Silver Arrows’ car was again plagued by bouncing, especially with low fuel in qualifying, while its weakness in fast corners compared to its rivals was very clear in Saudi Arabia.

Shovlin claims that Mercedes will try different approaches at the upcoming Australian Grand Prix.

“There’s definitely data that we’re picking from Jeddah,” Shovlin said. “We’re also looking at the data from the Bahrain race, the Bahrain test, and we’ll come up with a plan to approach free practice in Melbourne. But it’s not just based on what we did in Jeddah.”

“A lot of work is done within the aerodynamics department, the vehicle dynamics department.”

“We’re trying to design some experiments that will hopefully give us a direction that’s good for performance.”

Shovlin confirms that high-speed cornering performance is one of the key issues the team is looking at with an eye on Australia. Opinions that the weakness that has proved expensive in Bahrain is due to a combination of factors.

“It’s a few things,” he explains. “One of them was that the balance was not good. So those very fast corners, so those where the driver wants a lot of confidence – and quite often we stopped oversteer if they were really relying on the tires.”

“And you can easily imagine how upsetting it is for drivers. Now, that was a factor in qualifying and the race.”

“In the qualifiers we also suffered a bit with bouncing. That was a minor problem in the race. There is more fuel in the car. You’re going a little slower. And that seemed to calm down, and it wasn’t such a problem,” he claims.

“And the big thing is that we don’t really have enough power there. So that’s one of the things we’re working hard on this weekend, because Melbourne has a similar nature of turns.”

“Therefore, we’re doing a lot of work to try to understand why we don’t seem to be able to beat some of our close competitors.”