Mike Elliott says Mercedes underestimated the ‘porpoising’ issue

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes’ Technical Director Mike Elliot says the team “didn’t use the resources allowed by the regulations in the CFD to simulate bouncing”.

Mercedes has been struggling with its car for most of 2022, and the biggest issue they encountered was the car’s bouncing.

The team’s Technical Director Mike Elliott reveals they underestimated the problem in the design stage of the car.

“We knew that the ground effect cars of the past had this phenomenon and we talked about it at the design stage as well,” the Briton told Auto Motor und Sport.

“We didn’t expect there to be no problems at all, but none of the simulations gave any indication of how serious the problem would be.

“I think everyone has had that experience. It is very difficult to replicate the problem in the wind tunnel and it would be very expensive to model it in CFD simulation.

“That’s why we didn’t use the resources allowed by the regulations in the CFD to simulate bouncing.”

While Mercedes ultimately managed to come to grips with the issue, the FIA also intervened and is now requiring the floor edges to be raised by 15mm in 2023.


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While some teams have been complaining this will impact their performance, Elliott doesn’t think “it will make much of a difference”.

“We will all find a way around it and adapt. It has not changed the starting point of our development.

“The downforce loss depends on the ground clearance you are driving with. It can be high, but also very small.”

Elliott added Mercedes has made necessary changes in their approach, to try and return to the top once the new season starts.

“Our goals will be different than 2022. Some of the problems stemmed from the aerodynamic goals we had set. We’ve already made changes and there will be more.

“We hope that’s enough to be up front again in 2023,” he concluded.

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