May 28, 2013

Testgate: Keeping The Customer Happy

Photo: DigitalReflections/Flickr

Forgive us for being cynical but we've been following F1 for too long not to be.   Mercedes had been literally melting tires from the first race of the season much to the continued embarrassment of higher ups who have seen the Silver Arrows miss their targets since 2010 despite high profile engagements of Michael Schumacher and now Lewis Hamilton.  

Solution number one was to blame Pirelli and, after much praise given to the Italian manufacturer for producing a tire which added spice to racing, you saw a very coordinated campaign by the press to discredit the very thing they praised weeks earlier.  Would it be evil to point out where those same journalists get their credential and access from?  

As for Pirelli, they are facing a PR disaster if forced to  leave the sport with the impression they could not make a "good tire",  it's no surprise they jumped at the chance to help themselves and a key team, instrumental in renewal of their F1 contract not to mention a big production car tire customer.

Mercedes, aside from the AMG Petronas F1 team, produces engines for Mclaren  and Force India,   Williams will get MB power next year.  That's four out of eleven teams next year.

You may have noticed the Safety and Medical cars.  A fair number of trucks pulling paddock infrastructure have a three pointed star on the front of the cabs.

Mercedes is the only mass market luxury car manufacturer involved in F1, if  they became unhappy and left the sport, it would not be good news for Formula One and its investors.   You don't think Hamilton landed at AMG by accident, do you?

So is it really a surprise the test happened at all?  AMG Petronas got three races worth of running and suddenly their rear suspensions are not eating tires anymore.   Mercedes is smiling.

What would be a surprise is if the FIA slap Mercedes with a truly significant penalty.  How much  tension is there between the Bernie Ecclestone/ FOM  and Jean Todt's FIA?


  1. There is and was never anything wrong with the tires. The "PR disaster" is the media stirring shit up to get page clicks. The tires are fine, it's the cars that can't get them working right.

  2. I don't agree with this note. I think you are over simplifying.
    I'm not saying that Mercedes was not "helped" by Bernie... it will not be the first time (Ferrari in so many years / Mclaren)

    I think we should wait for Canada and see if the new suspension from the Mercs is not a copy of the Renault or the test actually help them design it.

    Also I know the problem are not the P Zero's, actually as I said many times I would suggest to reduce areo to minimum and keep mechanical grip and wrist.

    No need for DRS
    No need for Tires that needs to be destroyed in less than 10 laps.
    You will see pilots driving.
    IT will also level the teams and drivers to make it more competitive.

    Cars will have less corner speed, end straight speed. sure... did someone care now that the cars have to cruise for the first part of the race until most the fuel tank is empty ?


    Dis gon be good...

  4. I'm no expert, but who say's they've fixed anything? Rosberg had to nurse his tyres through the slowest track of the season. Admittedly, he wanted a one stopper, but even by the end, with fresh super softs after the red flag, he was still running 2 seconds a lap slower than race pace. Monaco is the only track where Mercedes can make their qualifying pace stick throughout the race.

  5. Very true, while Mercedes introduced a new rear suspension (very cleverly using a sort of CF exoskeleton over the gearbox in order to avoid a penalty for an early change) it remains to be seen how that will work on different circuit, even a point and squirt one like Montreal.


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