At the start of the 2022 season, Mercedes I could only dream of a victory while he suffered with the porpoising of his carthe W13.

But the one-two finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix is ​​proof of how tireless he has been in his search for performance throughout the course.

And while there have been times when he’s found himself in a development or configuration dead-end, he’s worked hard to get the answers he needed to drive the mercedes w13 in front of the grill.

A feature of the 2022 Mercedes is that its pilots always wear different aerodynamic configurations to find the balance they prefer, which they repeated last weekend.

Since the beginning of the qualifying session on Brazilian soil, Mercedes made the decision to divide the aerodynamic options of their two cars, with the aim of continuing to collect as much data as possible for the next course in which they hope to fight for victories and even titles again.

lewis hamilton mounted a slightly more downloaded rear wing on his W13 than the one adopted by George Russell. The seven-time world champion, in fact, has an extra cut on the side endplate of the rear wing, which is not on his teammate’s car.

Those changes speak to Mercedes’ modular design approach this season, which has reduced the number of wings that need to be made, which helps with costs. It also reduces time when making setup changes as parts are easily interchangeable.

The corner of the rear endplate, for example, can be changed without having to change the entire assembly (main article image, inset).

George Russell with the lateral paratia dell'ala posteriore più carica sulla Mercedes W13

These are just small details, but engineers at brackley have been looking for a solution that would allow the British veteran to reduce drag, hoping to get a small increase in top speed, something that would also be key for the 2023 W14.

In qualifying at Interlagos, Lewis Hamilton was able to hit 325.0 km/h by the time he passed the speed trap (speed trap), while George Russell trailed behind, with a top speed of 200 mph.

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Since the beginning of this course, Mercedes has seen how its greatest loss of rhythm compared to the two great favourites, Red Bull Y Ferrariwas largely focused on top speed, which made races with long straights a real headache for those with the silver star.

However, as the season has progressed, Mercedes has been able to close the gap and get very close to the leaders, and even compete with them in some more W13-friendly settings, although in the head-to-head they still have all the to lose for that reason.

Mercedes W13 brake flap

Mercedes W13 brake flap

In addition, Mercedes also continues to seek interesting and innovative solutions that cannot be found in any other car on the grid.

As seen above, the flaps in the upper front quadrant of the rear brake duct guide feature a micro-aerodynamic solution, in which grooves were made in the surface to allow airflow to migrate between them.

With or without the help of DRSthe speed of the silver arrows has been behind the RB18 and of the F1-75which meant that unless they had a pace that allowed them to get ahead in qualifying and escape in the race, defending the position or trying to overtake was almost torture.

Looking ahead to next year, in which Mercedes has already confirmed that it will change its conceptabandoning this revolutionary car “without sidepods”, it will be crucial to hit both the front and rear wings and, for this reason, the Brackley team has focused all its tests on these two elements during the last races of this course.

The intriguing camera that Red Bull F1 tested in Verstappen’s car in Brazil

Red Bull RB18 Deflection Measurement Chamber Mound

For a brief period during FP1 in Brazil, the Red Bull RB18 of max verstappen it presented a small mound in the middle part of the nose.

The mound-forming capsule, which appears to have been 3D-printed, features openings at each end, with cameras mounted inside to capture images of the lateral area.

It’s not clear if those cameras were focused on the suspension elements, the front brake duct deflector, the sidewall of the tire, or a combination of all of these.

But it is interesting that the Austrian team feels they need to monitor that part of the car, albeit briefly and in practice, while continuing to look for ways to further improve performance heading into 2023.

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Set-up differences between Russell and Hamilton in Brazil