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Mercedes zero number in Asia: Mercedes too complicated?

Mercedes zero number in Asia
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R oss Brawn, Norbert Haug and Niki Lauda are closed a lot to do. The Mercedes AMGW03 is a construction site. After the two Asian races you get the impression: a bigger one than ever before. Mercedes left Suzuka and Yeongam with zero points. Force India and Sauber seem out of reach. The Silver Arrows are already fighting with Williams and ToroRosso.

The free fall began with the British GP. Mercedes scored 92 points in the first eight races. So 11.5 points per Grand Prix. In the next eight races, only 44 points were added. Makes 5.5 points per bet. In the second half of the season, Sauber with 56 and Force India with 45 points are better off than the works racing team. The battle for fifth place is far from over. But what would place five be? A rank lower than in 2010 and 2011. In terms of the overall points, too, it will be close to surpassing the results of the past, although there is one more Grand Prix this season than in the two previous years. In 2010 Mercedes achieved 214 points, in 2011 it was 165. At the moment the account is on 136 points.

Developments do not come by the wayside an

What started well now seems to dissolve in mediocrity. There must be reasons. A car that wins a Grand Prix and is able to set the best time in practice in Monte Carlo can't be bad from the ground up. Admittedly, the conditions in Shanghai and Monte Carlo were perfect. But that doesn't mean you automatically win a race. 'The knot has to be somewhere. We have to find it,' Norbert Haug desperately said. But where? In the wind tunnel, one of the developments, during tire preparation?

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Even if Ross Brawn claims the wind tunnel is delivering decent data. Why are there always discrepancies between the laboratory and the track? One reason why Michael Schumacher put his future decision on the back burner was that he no longer believed the development himself. For three years he has been told wondrous things about expansion stages, but they never made it to the racetrack. The best example is the Coanda exhaust. He's been on board for three races. At the premiere in Singapore it still worked quite well. At least not a step backwards. But since then it has been going downhill.

So far, the engineers have been able to apologize that theWind tunnel was only operated with 50 percent models, and that Pirelli's wind tunnel tires for the small scale were not up to date. But the Coanda exhaust is already the first offspring of the duct, which has been upgraded to 60 percent models. Even so, the car didn't make a significant leap forward. Which is also due to the fact that Mercedes compromises the setup for the sake of the tires. Where the rear tires suffer, as in Suzuka, the cars are trimmed for understeer. That costs lap time. There, where, as in Korea, the front and rear tires suffer equally, there is no recipe at all. Points were out of reach. Haug shakes his head: 'The fear that the tires will overheat dictates what we do. That shouldn't be. Perhaps we need more expertise on the race track.'

Mercedes with complex technology

The tires remain the dominant topic, with Ross Brawn claiming: 'To fully understand the tires you have to illuminate all aspects. We are on the right path there.' At Mercedes, the tire problem seems to be particularly tricky. 'The tires heat up differently,' explains Brawn. 'It doesn't help if there are three tires in the working window and the fourth is either too cold or too warm. The trick is to bring the four tires to operating temperature at the same time and to keep them there.'

Um To get the tire misery under control, several measures have already been initiated. Apparently without much success. Mercedes has already changed the geometry of the rear axle three times. Mercedes has slimmed down with the carbon housing for the gearbox in the rear, so that the weight distribution can go to the limit of what the regulations allow. Mercedes has made many attempts to optimize aerobalance. If more downforce is generated at the front than at the rear, the rear tires suffer. Ross Brawn mentions another killer: 'Depending on how the car reacts to load changes, how it nods in front and behind, and how it rolls in bends, the tires can be loaded and unloaded.'

Maybe this Mercedes is just too complicated. The chassis, in which the four damper elements are hydraulically networked from back to front and crosswise, harbors both opportunities and risks. The aim is that all tires always rest with the maximum contact area. But it's just as easy to get confused with the setup. And then the shot backfires. Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren use a similar system, but not on all circuits.

The double DRS is also an example of how Mercedes has systems in their cars that are too complex. It has nothing to do with the tires, but with the principle. When the flap is folded up, Mercedes transports air into the front wing through a six-meter-long duct system in order to disrupt the flow. Red Bull has been doing the same thing for three races, just a lot simpler. Also on the RB8When the wing is raised, air flows into the end plates. However, it is blown 33 centimeters lower across the direction of travel through two centimeter long nozzles under the lower rear wing element. The distances are short, there is little risk of leakage and the system worked straight away. Brawn defends himself against the comparison: 'Red Bull is simply trying to further reduce the air resistance. Our concept is different. We want to reduce the air resistance at the front and rear as much as possible in order to have a better balance when using the DRS.' /p>


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