F1 Tech Analysis: New Floor Brings Mercedes Closer to Red Bull

Mercedes struggled initially after the rule changes were introduced in 2022, but at the US Grand Prix weekend, they made significant improvements to their car’s floor, resulting in better performance and allowing Lewis Hamilton to close the gap on Max Verstappen, despite his subsequent disqualification.

Highlights

‣ Mercedes brought a completely new floor at the US Grand Prix weekend, with changes aimed at increasing downforce and rear stability.
‣ The new floor improved the car’s behavior, especially in high-speed corners, and allowed Hamilton to challenge Verstappen.
‣ McLaren and Ferrari both made similar choices for their set-up, using a medium downforce rear wing, but it cost them in the race as their rear tires suffered.
‣ Norris managed to bring the race home in P2 for McLaren, while Leclerc’s one-stop race strategy caused him to decline to P5.


Mercedes’ struggles this season have been well-documented ever since the rule and regulation changes were introduced in 2022. However, the US Grand Prix showed signs of a turnaround for the team. Lewis Hamilton, despite being disqualified for excessive wear on the skid plank, managed to close the gap on Max Verstappen.

One major factor contributing to Mercedes’ improved performance was the introduction of a new floor. The new solution featured several changes, including new Venturi inlets, a revised floor edge, and a different shape around the SIS. These modifications were aimed at increasing the amount of air pushed underneath the car, resulting in enhanced downforce and improved performance in high-speed corners.

Hamilton himself expressed his satisfaction with the new floor, praising the team’s effort and resilience. He remarked, “I think it’ll be just a showing of resilience and strength and depth from our team. I think we had a difficult year last year. Even to the start of this year, we didn’t expect to be where we are.”

However, while Hamilton thrived with the new setup, his teammate George Russell struggled throughout the weekend, finishing only P5. On the other hand, McLaren had the upper hand over Ferrari. Both teams opted for a medium downforce rear wing, which proved beneficial during qualifying but caused tire degradation in the race. Despite this, Norris managed to secure P2, while Sainz grabbed P3 for Ferrari. Leclerc’s decision to attempt a one-stop strategy led to his decline to P5.

With four races remaining, an intense battle for second place in the Constructors’ Championship is on the horizon. Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez will undoubtedly give their all in this fight.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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