F1

Mercedes used ‘doom table’ to predict W13 performance

Lack of understanding of a major revision to F1’s technical regulations left Mercedes facing a challenging campaign, with the German manufacturer seeing its run of success come to an end in 2022.

Mercedes started the year on the back foot compared to rivals Red Bull and Ferrari, with its troubled W13 challenger only looking genuinely competitive on certain tracks.

In most places, Mercedes was only the third fastest team, but George Russell edged Lewis Hamilton 1-2 as the team took its only win of the season in Brazil.

While improvements were made as the year progressed, Mercedes returned to its usual level of performance at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

After a tough qualifying at Yas Marina, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff revealed the amusing name behind the team’s tool for predicting how well their W13 would do on each track.

“We always knew that we have to be prudent and not set our expectations based on the result in Brazil,” he told the media, including Crash.net on Saturday.

“I think that circuit suited our car perfectly and everything worked very, very well. And Abu Dhabi on our ‘doom chart’ was one of the worst tracks, not catastrophic like high-speed tracks, but not ideal either.”

Speaking in a post-race video report from Abu Dhabi, Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles further explained the team’s ‘table of doom’.

“This is something we’ve built in-house that allows us to somewhat predict where our car will be relative to the fastest cars on the track and it worked quite well,” he said.

“It’s something that actually had a pretty good correlation throughout the season and said that, for example, in Mexico and Brazil we would be significantly more competitive than we were going to be in Abu Dhabi.

“It’s a function of the properties that make our car strong and weak and that turned out to be true and maybe a negative in that it’s a very good thing because it means that the properties of our car that we understand actually have a good enough understanding of them. so that they actually seem real in real life and then the reasons behind it seem to be correlated.”

Vowles said Mercedes understands why they fell behind Red Bull and Ferrari in Abu Dhabi, despite dominating in Brazil just a week earlier.

“In part I think Ferrari regressed in Mexico and Brazil, it’s hard to explain why, but they were definitely not as competitive there as they were towards the end of the season in Abu Dhabi,” he explained. “They were a fierce rival in Abu Dhabi, very, very fast in a straight line and generally competitive with good tire degradation.

“Obviously that doesn’t explain Red Bull and why we went back to them, but I think that does explain in the properties of where our car is weak and where it’s strong and Brazil had a lot of corner sequences, corner types, corner speeds. which really suit the characteristics of our car which unfortunately we did not have in Abu Dhabi.

“Last one is Abu Dhabi, very, very cold conditions once we were actually racing at night and we saw some properties in the tyre, there was a little bit of grain on the front axle and on the rear axle and that hurt us for sure. in the race.”

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