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Sunday, April 14, 2024

F1 Expert Reveals Mercedes Did 191 Laps With Their SIM Driver At at the Australian GP

Mercedes came to the Australian GP with a lot of expectations and preparations. The Silver Arrows were hoping to unlock more performance from the W15 but things have not gone their way. Lewis Hamilton has a wretched FP2 on Friday, finishing P18. And in qualifying he also got knocked out in Q2 itself, getting P11. F1 expert Karun Chandhok has revealed that Mercedes took help from their sim driver Anthony Davidson to try and understand the quirks of their 2024 car.

As quoted by user Junaid on Twitter (now X), Chandhok said “Davidson did 191 laps of the Albert Park Circuit [on the simulator]”. Despite this marathon effort, Mercedes doesn’t look to understand what is ailing their car, especially in the high-speed sections.

Hamilton was quite unhappy on both days of the weekend so far. While George Russell qualified P7 to salvage a decent position for the team, the seven-time champion did not have similar luck in qualifying. Both Lance Stroll and Yuki Tsunoda pipped him in the dying seconds of Q2.

According to the official F1 website, post-qualifying, the #44 driver said, “The car is on a knife’s edge, and it is difficult as a driver to work around these inconsistencies. It’s not a great feeling for anyone in the team at the moment but we will keep working away”.

George Russell leading Mercedes in tough times

Contrary to Lewis Hamilton, George Russell had a better qualifying in Melbourne. The 25-year-old qualified P7 and seemed more comfortable with the car. However, Russell was not satisfied and cited that they did not perform as they did in FP3 due to changing conditions.

For qualifying, it was more windy and it affected the W15 in the high-speed sections. Just like Hamilton, Russell could not maximize his performance as he felt the car was “difficult”.

Russell added, “We have a car that is difficult and small changes can cause it to be outside of the working window. There is no simple solution as it is about the complex interaction between all the constituent elements of the car”.

Mercedes doesn’t seem to understand what is ailing their car. They are unable to zero in on the problem. In Bahrain, they faced engine heating issues due to a cooling louvers panel issue on the engine cover. In Jeddah, the car was on a knife edge again and Hamilton faced bouncing issues, akin to the 2022 phenomenon. The W15 has better potential, but the German team is not able to unlock it yet.

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