Mercedes’ Miami wings were for performance, not porpoising

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton running the Miami upgraded front wing on the Mercedes W13. Miami May 2022

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton running the Miami upgraded front wing. Miami May 2022

Mercedes’ Miami wings were a “step forward” in performance but Mike Elliott says they were not part of the team’s efforts to fix their bouncing problems.

Mercedes arrived at the Miami Grand Prix with new wings – front, rear and beam.

It was thought that the new elements were being introduced in the hope that they would help eradicate the team’s bouncing but Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott says that was not their role.

“I think it is important to differentiate two things,” he said in Mercedes’ post-Miami debrief.

“One is the normal upgrade path and the other one is fixing the issues that we are having with bouncing and other things that are compromising the performance.”

The wings were part of the former.

Elliott added: “The wings that we brought definitely brought us the performance that we were expecting and were a step forward.”

Mercedes did show improved pace in Friday’s practice, George Russell quickest of all with Lewis Hamilton fourth.

However, that pace dissipated in qualifying with Russell recovering to finish P5 in the grand prix, Hamilton one place back in sixth, both drivers again bouncing their way through the grand prix.

But while the wings were brought to the Miami International Autodrome for performance, they played no role in helping Mercedes resolve their porpoising issues.

Elliott, however, believes they are that bit closer to do so having gathered yet more data in changing track conditions.

“The experiments we were doing on track trying to understand the bouncing, we gathered a lot of data, we gathered a lot of data on Friday when we had strong performance and we gathered data through the race and as always, the engineers are pouring through that gaining understanding,” he said.

“In fact, every time we run the car we learn something new and that is the aim of the game, the game is to try and understand the car faster than our competitors.

“Although at the moment we are on the backfoot a little bit with that, there is a huge amount of effort, a huge amount of work going in trying to understand how we improve the car, how do we find that next little step forward, how do we get rid of the bouncing, how do we get back to being competitive or competitive relative to the front-running team which is where we want to be.”


Mercedes trail Red Bull by 49 points in the Constructors’ Championship with Ferrari a further six ahead. Russell is Mercedes’ best-placed driver in the Drivers’ standings, P4 with Hamilton sixth.


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