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Mercedes Planning to Use “Experiments” in Melbourne in Hope of Clinching First Win in Two Years

Vidit Dhawan
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Mercedes Planning to Use "Experiments" in Melbourne in Hope of Clinching First Win in Two Years

Mercedes have struggled comprehensively since the regulation changes of 2022 and have won just one race since then- the 2022 Sao Paolo GP.  Because of the Silver Arrows’ recent problems, they are hoping to use some “experiments” for the upcoming race in Melbourne next weekend. Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin shed light on the same in a recent race debrief after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Shovlin stated (as per Autosport) “We’re trying to design some experiments there (Melbourne) that will hopefully give us a direction that’s good for performance“. The Briton then explained the details of how they are experimenting to address some of the concerns Lewis Hamilton and George Russell faced in the opening two races of the 2024 campaign.

The first major struggle was that of porpoising, something that was a massive concern for the team in the 2022 season. Meanwhile, another concern that Mercedes are currently facing is their lack of pace in high-speed corners. Speaking of how Mercedes are attempting to address these two concerns, Shovlin added,

Some of that was they’d complained about bouncing. So we were looking at ways of trying to improve that. You can play with ride heights, you can play with stiffness, and that all seems effective. And also they were just trying to tune the balance through the speed range. So what’s the car like in the low-speed? What’s it like in the high-speed?

Since Mercedes still find themselves in the experimental phase, the obvious question that arises is how good of a chance they have to challenge Red Bull for the win at the Australian Grand Prix next weekend if their changes pay off.

Can Mercedes challenge Red Bull for the win in Melbourne?

2024 could easily be a repeat of the 2023 season considering how Red Bull have begun the new campaign. Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have led the team to two 1-2 finishes in the opening two rounds.

Although Perez seemed to struggle to register a strong qualifying performance, he did seem quick during the race. In both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Perez comfortably managed to finish second despite his failure to qualify on the front row in both races.

Since Red Bull seem so quick during the races, it is highly unlikely that a team like Mercedes, who have even struggled to match Ferrari so far this season, can discover enough pace in a week to challenge the Milton Keynes outfit. As a result, it is likely that Verstappen will once again win in Melbourne next weekend until and unless Perez can pose a threat to him.

As for Mercedes, they will look to narrow down the gap to Ferrari and fight for the final podium spot. At the moment, the Italian outfit do comfortably seem as the second-fastest side, having grabbed the final podium spot in both Bahrain (Carlos Sainz) and Saudi Arabia (Charles Leclerc).

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Vidit Dhawan

Vidit Dhawan

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Vidit Dhawan is the F1 writer and Editor at The SportsRush. He fell in love with the sport at first sight when F1 visited India in 2011. The noise and the racing action from lights out and away we go to the chequered flag are what keeps him at the edge of his seat at all times. Vidit has been a lifelong Fernando Alonso fan and sees Charles Leclerc as the future of the sport. Other than F1, he also follows football and tennis closely.

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