Damon Hill has shared his “anxiety” over Mercedes’ repeated
failures with the aerodynamic ground effects technical regulations.
Between 2014 and 2021, Mercedes scooped 15 of the 16 titles on
offer with Lewis Hamilton winning six of the eight Drivers’ titles,
with Nico Rosberg picking up the 2016 crown before Max Verstappen
ended the vice-like grip in 2021. For 2022, the technical
regulations were revamped with ground-effects returning, with
Mercedes dethroned after getting its W13 concept badly wrong with
the so-called zero sidpeod design. It doubled-down on that with the
W14, but abandoned it at the Monaco Grand Prix for a more
conventional design, although the team is still to win a race this
season – having claimed at least one every since 2012. Mike Elliott
– the technical director turned Chief Technical Officer responsible
for the design has now left the team – with Hill wondering if
Mercedes is missing a trick with the aero rules. Hill’s anxiety
over Mercedes “My anxiety is this, which is that for a long time,
Mercedes’ dominance really was down to their power unit,” Hill
explained on the Sky Sports F1 Podcast. ” They had the best power
unit for a very long time, and the aerodynamics were always
slightly different to Red Bull’s. “If you remember towards the end
of the previous Formula 1 regulations, they persisted with their
relatively flat-looking rake on the car, whereas Red Bull was
absolutely huge. “They led the way and everyone started following
Red Bull with this very high rake. It looked like a rat running
along the car. It had a very high back. “But Mercedes stuck
persistently or doggedly with their [concept], they looked like
they were running a different aero concept on their car in the
previous regulations, and then along come a new set of regulations.
“What I’m saying is, is the Mercedes aero department missing a
trick here? They’ve lost quite a few good aero people to other
teams as well, over time.”

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