Mercedes: No immediate answers for "weak" W12 rear end

Mercedes says it had no immediate answers for what caused the rear end of its W12 Formula 1 car to be so unstable through pre-season testing, calling it "weak".

Listen to this article

Mercedes suffered a couple of setbacks across the three-day test in Bahrain last week, losing running on the opening day to a gearbox issue.

Lewis Hamilton then suffered a spin into the gravel on the second day of testing, with both the Briton and teammate Valtteri Bottas reporting instability with the rear of the car throughout the test.

Neither driver featured near the top of the timesheets in the final test classification as Red Bull's Max Verstappen set the fastest time.

Speaking about the rear-end issues with the W12 car in Mercedes' testing debrief video, chief strategist James Vowles revealed there were no immediate answers as to what was causing the problems.

"It was pretty evident from that, that the car was handling poorly, and conversely the Red Bull in fact was a very stable car especially through the last sector of the lap," Vowles explained.

"I think that's a fair observation. It was visible to the outside and I would say the laptimes mirrored that as well.

"But it's also fair to say that we don't have answers as we are sat here now, it is just 24 hours after the end of the test. Huge amounts of data available to us and now a long journey ahead to try and understand what was causing that."

Read Also:

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin explained how the weather conditions in Bahrain made it difficult for the drivers, with a number of them struggling in the high winds.

But he also noted that Mercedes' rivals were not having such pronounced issues with the rear of their cars, making it clear the team has work to do to rectify the issue.

"The wind made it tricky," Shovlin said. "When the wind is behind the car, you lose a lot of downforce because effectively the air speed is reduced, so some corners where the wind was behind, it was prone to doing that.

"Then also the tyres are quite easy to overheat on that circuit and if you start sliding, you tend to lose grip and it gets worse. So, there are a few problems.

"Importantly, we could see that some of our competitors weren't struggling in the same way as us, so we need to put quite a focus on understanding why the rear end was a bit weak, how we can get it more stable and predictable and that work is going on now.

"Hopefully when we get to the race weekend it won't be so difficult for the drivers because they were having to work pretty hard to do the lap times that they were doing."

Mercedes completed a filming day with the W12 car in Bahrain on Tuesday, giving it a final shakedown ahead of the opening race next weekend.

shares
comments

Related video

Silverstone to give away F1 and MotoGP tickets to key workers
Previous article

Silverstone to give away F1 and MotoGP tickets to key workers

Next article

Perez recalls being "kicked out" of Red Bull junior test

Perez recalls being "kicked out" of Red Bull junior test
Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory Prime

Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s Oleg Karpov on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow.

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc Prime

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career.

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Prime

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Prime

Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Prime

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz's best weekend of F1 2022 so far Prime

The breakthrough behind Sainz's best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP Prime

Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP

On paper the Canadian Grand Prix will go down as Max Verstappen’s latest triumph, fending off late pressure from Carlos Sainz to extend his Formula 1 world championship lead. But as safety car periods, virtual and real, shook up the race Ferrari demonstrated it can take the fight to Red Bull after recent failures.

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022