Mercedes: Our engines were taking a hell of a pounding

Mercedes: Our engines were taking a hell of a pounding

Mercedes: Our engines were taking a hell of a pounding
Mercedes engine boss Hywel Thomas revealed that not only Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were beaten up by the W13’s “porpoising” in 2022, the power units were being pounded as well.

Mercedes would be definitely glad to put the 2022 Formula 1 season behind them, their woeful W13 finally parked somewhere in their factory as they look forward to make amends with 2023 F1 car, the W14, which they fired up before the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The W13 had nothing working for it, with bad looks, subpar performance, and not to mention the vicious bouncing which meant we got used to seeing Lewis Hamilton and George Russell coming out of the car aching after races.

But in a conversation between Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, Technical Director Mike Elliott, and powertrains chief Hywel Thomas, the trio reflected on their outgoing F1 campaign, revealing that the engines were getting as bad a pounding as the team’s drivers due to “porpoising”.

In a the video conversation posted on the team’s YouTube channel, Elliott said: “I think the interesting thing is how we move forward from here.

“I think we’ve got to maintain that scepticism and be honest with ourselves that we were behind at the end of the year.

“And while I think that we’ve made good progress through the year and I am really pleased with the culture I have seen and the attitude, we will only see the return on that next year,” the Mercedes tech boss believed.

Wolff looking at the bigger picture

Wolff on the other hand tried to focus on the bigger picture insisting what he cares about was seeing the team continuously learning and developing.

“For me the perspective or the planning is not about the short-term, it’s not about a race, even a season or two or five,” he said.

“It’s about I would like this team to constantly develop to be chasing for race victories and championships every single year but not taking it for granted, not having any sense of entitlement and if I hear us talking it almost sounds like the complete disaster of all seasons… it felt like it and I think this is the right feeling,” Wolff explained.

“But we finished third in the Constructors’ Championship, we were very close to Ferrari, we won a race, we had 10 plus podiums. Whatever happens at the beginning of next season it’s going to be another building block for the success of this team.

“We are trying to be as transparent as we can,” the 50-year-old from Vienna Austrian pointed out. “What we can promise is that all of us here in the two factories [Brackley and Brixworth], with the support of Germany, we are going to push flat out to have the best possible result and the same kind of scrutiny on our performance will help us going forward as human beings, as managers and also as a team.”

Mercedes didn’t have the best power unit in 2022 as well, but the chat between Wolff and Thomas revealed their issues with their engines was complicated further by the W13’s bouncing tendencies.

The W13 was beating up its engine

Mercedes: Signs of W13 issues there from early running

“We came out at the beginning of the season with some wobbles on the power unit as well,” Wolff addressed Thomas. “We didn’t like certain aspects of the deployment or the drivability of the Power Unit.

“And whilst in a frozen environment you and your team were able to really add on performance, cope with the difficult environment of a bouncing car that was breaking your engine and still we were super reliable, and the engine was performing very well towards the middle of the season and the end,” Wolff said in praise of the team at Brixworth.

“It was becoming very clear that the bottom of the engines were taking a hell of a pounding,” responded to his boss. “I think when you came up to Brixworth last week you saw some of the parts that were off the race engines, and it was quite a surprise to see exactly how hard they were being hit by the ground.

“You know when you see Lewis [Hamilton] and George [Russell] looking a bit uncomfortable getting out of the cars, the PUs were doing much the same,” the powertrains engineer revealed.