“There is a balance”– Mercedes explains that why it will not ditch its “barn-door” like rear-wing, as it will make them lose even more.
This year Red Bull has been leading the championship race by a comprehensive margin, and it has been observed that the Milton-Keynes based team has an advantage over Mercedes on the straights.
Red Bull has been helped most recently by it opting for a lower downforce, low-drag rear wing solution, in contrast to Mercedes preferring to run with a bigger rear wing.
Speaking after the Styrian Grand Prix, Red Bull’s boss Christian Horner called Mercedes’ rear-wings ‘barn-door’ rear wings, while defining the roles of different rear wing choices played in the characteristics of both cars.
“They [Mercedes] have got a barn door on the back of their car for this race and we had a pretty skinny rear wing,” said Horner. “So you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out why we tend to be a bit quicker on the straights.”
It will make us smaller
After hearing Horner’s words, it would be an instant assumption that Mercedes has a simple solution in hand by opting for the lower-drag wings. However, Mercedes has decided to stick with the thicker wings.
Mercedes’ motorsport strategy director James Vowles explains that Mercedes is still preferring the current wings because, if they go with the lowe-drag wings, it will make them slower.
“You could, of course, have less rear wing and go faster on the straight line but you would be sacrificing cornering performance and not just that,” he explained in the regular post-race video produced by Mercedes.
“That also comes with effects on degradation. Conversely less rear wing allows you perhaps to overtake a little bit more, but there is a balance.”
“We use simulation tools to run through all of the rear wing settings that we have available to us and come up with an optimum of what we should be running at this track.”
“What we should be running for both overtaking, qualifying and race and in our case, it comes out with the rear wing setting that you see,” he concluded.