Mercedes sees it as a challenge that there is only one winter test this season, spread over three days. According to Mike Elliott, the technical director of the Silver Arrows, this makes it more difficult to spot problems quickly before the season actually starts.
Last season Mercedes had a lot of problems at the start and if that’s the case again this year, it probably won’t be recognized any time soon. The lack of testing time “has two major consequences as a result,” Elliott explains at Motorsport Week. The first is reliability. If we are not reliable in the test, we have very limited mileage to study. We won’t be able to measure the absolute reliability of the car too much either, because you can’t drive much in three days.’
However, today’s cars are so reliable that the test time does not have to matter much. However? Elliott thinks not. ‘You need more kilometers than on those three days to really see some problems. The second major consequence is that you have to use the limited time as efficiently as possible. We need to learn as much as possible, figure out how to get the most performance out of the car and what we can learn to use for the next developments.”
Mercedes prepared as best as possible for 2023
Despite the challenges, Elliott is convinced that Mercedes has prepared as well as possible for the new season, partly thanks to simulations. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that the car is reliable and that the performance we expect is measured as closely as possible. When we get to winter testing we want to be as prepared as possible, but there is no substitute for the real thing. It’s driving the car around a real racetrack that will help us.’
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