Wolff confident longer wheelbase not a factor in Mercedes early struggles


Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W08 EQ Energy+ - Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Following in-depth investigations into the performance woes they have been experiencing during the 2017 season so far, in particular those felt last month during the Monaco Grand Prix, the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team have come to the conclusion that their longer wheelbase is not the root cause of their issues, as many had speculated.

The German squad now has one of the longest cars on the grid; a design idea introduced by the Silvers Arrows team because they felt it would boost performance and be more productive in generating downforce, with the only real downside being possible limitations at narrower, tighter tracks, of which there are few across the Formula 1 season.

The team at the factory worked back to back for ten days solid in order to get to the bottom of the issues plaguing them, and there was a huge sigh of relief when they concluded that the wheelbase factor played little part in the troubles.

Mercedes Motorsport Boss Toto Wolff is happy that the benefits from the longer wheelbase design far outweigh the negative implications, and concludes that they were justified to run with that design this year, as he explained to motorsport.com recently.

“With the new regulations, the wider tyres, and the loads on the suspension, it was a concept we followed. Now we have the longest car.

“It might disadvantage us on narrow street circuits, but the disadvantage is tiny compared to the advantage that we generate on large high speed race tracks.

“Overall it is about finding the best compromise in a race car for 20 races, and not optimising it for one single race.

“We have seen that in the past, some teams are very competitive just in Monaco, or they are very competitive at Monza or Spa. So it is about the compromise, and we have done a very good job in the last years so far.”