Mercedes says the W13 was genuinely fast in Miami GP practice

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Mercedes’ Motorsport Strategy Director James Vowles says the W13 was genuinely fast in Miami Grand Prix free practice sessions.

Mercedes had a promising Friday’s Miami Grand Prix free practice, with George Russell topping FP2. However, by Saturday the performance was lost.

During his appearance on the F1 Nation podcast, James Vowles said Friday’s performance was not an anomaly, but the W13 was genuinely faster. The team therefore believes the car would be fast once issues like porpoising are solved.

“The advantage is that when we solve this incredibly difficult puzzle we get a lot of satisfaction out of it,” the Briton said.

“The downside is that we have to put so much effort into it that it takes over your life. We enjoy the puzzle, but also feel the pressure of the millions of people around the world.”

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There has also been a lot of talk about Mercedes returning the W13 to its Barcelona test spec, the one that the team used before the ‘zero sidepod’ concept was introduced in Bahrain.

The team will have a perfect opportunity to compare the two concepts once they take to the track during the Barcelona Grand Prix weekend. After that it will be easier to decide if the old concept is the way to go.

“A small correction. We have not been to Barcelona with this car yet. We were in Barcelona with the old specification,” Vowles explained.

“That’s the interesting learning point; we can draw a line in the sand and compare it with the aerodynamic solutions we had then,” he concluded.

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