In Friday’s Miami Grand Prix free practice sessions Mercedes has been “the most competitive we’ve been at any point through the season so far”, but that changed on Saturday.
However, on Saturday the team’s performance dropped back to where it was in previous races. In Mercedes’ race debrief, Technical Director Mike Elliott was asked to explain the performance loss.
“That’s a really good question and it’s a question that we are trying to answer at the moment,” Elliott said.
“I think if you were to look at Friday’s running it was probably the most competitive we’ve been at any point through the season so far.
“Between Friday and Saturday we will have made some changes and actually those changes were fairly minor, but there were also changes in conditions.
“We need to go through all of that data, extract as much understanding as we can from that and use that to move forward over the next couple of races.”
As for upgrades that Mercedes introduced in Miami, Elliott explained:
“I think it is important to differentiate two things. One is the normal upgrade path and the other one is fixing the issues that we are having with bouncing and other things that are compromising the performance.
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“So, the wings that we brought definitely brought us the performance that we were expecting and were a step forward.
“The experiments we were doing on track trying to understand the bouncing, we gathered a lot of data, we gathered a lot of data on Friday when we had strong performance and we gathered data through the race and, as always, the engineers are pouring through that, gaining understanding.
“In fact, every time we run the car we learn something new and that is the aim of the game, the game is to try and understand the car faster than our competitors.”
Ultimetely, the Briton said there is a lot of work going on at the team’s Brackley HQ, aimed at finding a way to improve their car.
“Although at the moment we are on the back foot a little bit with that, there is a huge amount of effort, a huge amount of work going in trying to understand how we improve the car.
“How do we find that next little step forward, how do we get rid of the bouncing and how do we get back to being competitive or competitive relative to the front-running team, which is where we want to be,” he concluded.