Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport fear their choice of a long wheelbase may haunt them this weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Mercedes have the longest wheelbase on the grid and while that has its benefits, Toto Wolff admits the Circuit de Monaco does not suit that set up.
“The long wheelbase provides us with more surface area from which to extract downforce and gives the team a good reward throughout an entire season; especially since it is downforce acquired at a very modest drag penalty.
“At a slower, twistier circuit at the extremes like Monaco the team get the least benefit from a long wheelbase car.
“You still get all the downforce associated with the extra surface area, but a longer wheelbase car needs more steering angle on the front wheels to get the car turned.
“For that reason, the team is bringing the special front suspension to Monaco so that the choice of line through Loews Hairpin is not limited.”
Wolff acknowledges that a shorter wheelbase will be quicker round Monaco and is prepared for the car to be slower in Monaco.
“In theory, if one compared two cars, which were identical in all respects apart from their wheelbase, then the shorter wheelbase that is more commonly found on the grid would be a faster around Monaco by less than a tenth of a second.
“However, this is not a real world comparison, because in practice you would lose downforce if you went from the long wheelbase car to the average of the grid, and the net result would be a slower car even at Monaco.”