At this late stage of the season, new technical innovations on the
cars are practically absent, evidenced in Brazil by nine of the 10
teams not modifying their car in any way, with the focus
long-switched to 2024. The recent exit from Mercedes of Mike
Elliott, who left his position as technical director mid-season in
a job-swap with chief technical officer James Allison, who himself
regained the role he left at the end of 2021, must be seen as the
final, predictable outcome of the failure of the W13 project last
season and the continuation of the same zero sidepod aerodynamic
concept with the W14. With Allison’s return to the technical
directorship, Toto Wolff intends, to all intents and purposes, a
clean break with the former technical leadership of the team, but
above all, be able to lay the foundations for the development of
the W14, with the failed concept abandoned at the Monaco Grand
Prix. With eyes mainly on 2024, it was correct for Mercedes to
commit to developing the W14, for a deeper understanding of the
problems connected to the original concept of the car and to
radically distance the W15 concept from it. It was not just a
repositioning of the top technical responsibilities, but we can
also say that behind the scenes, and without any fanfare, the staff
who had designed the W13 under Elliott’s supervision, sharing the
philosophy and the decision to continue with the flawed concept for
the W14, did not actually play a crucial role in the developments
during this season. Mercedes vs Ferrari There were no other
high-profile exits from the team, of course, but a reassignment of
roles amongst the engineering ranks. This can be summarised as a
‘silent revolution’ but one on a very precisely timed programme
with the ultimate objective of achieving a performance renaissance
at the highest levels for for next season. The results obtained
on-track by the W14 after extensive upgrade packages, the latest
being a new floor introduced in the United States have been
encouraging, despite not eliminating the bad traits of the car, in
particular the aerodynamic efficiency. Although the negative
aspects of the car had not been eradicated, there has been the
impression following the summer break that the staff directed by
Allison knew which direction to take, to both extract immediate
potential from the W14 and lay foundations for next season. This
poses an interesting contrast with Ferrari over 2024, with Wolff’s
choice differing to the continuity of Ferrari in terms of the key
technical team. Enrico Gualtieri remains technical director for the
power unit, Enrico Cardile the TD for chassis and car concept, with
this stability potentially producing more concrete and stable
results. The challenge between Mercedes and Ferrari is therefore
not so much the one that sees the two fighting for second in the
Constructors’ Championship this year – Mercedes leads by 20 points
with two races remaining – but above all the one that will see them
face each other next year – potentially with a competitive third
wheel such as McLaren. A contrast between Mercedes and Ferrari It
is therefore a question of understanding, a series of ‘stage
victories’ of more or less positive results leading to Abu Dhabi.
It would be a mistake to think that the current results achieved by
the W14 could in some way be a foreshadowing of the W15. On the
other hand, hypothesising that Ferrari, having not had an internal
revolution of its own is destined to follow SF-23 conceptual
continuity with its own 2024 car would be completely wrong. As
Cardile himself declared, the 676 project will be radically
different to the current one, starting from an innovative rear
axle, while maintaining the suspension set-up, if the latest
rumours are to be believed. Those who consider the Mercedes
approach to potentially be more effective, espouse the easy belief
of football logic of changing managers as a solution. Vasseur,
Cardile, and Gualtieri know well – as Red Bull has long followed –
that continuity in the technical structure of the team has been a
strength and not a weakness – and that it will be up to the 676
project to demonstrate it. W14 Front suspension modified The
revised version of the W14 made its debut in Monaco, characterized
in terms of front suspension by a higher position of the front pick
points of the upper wishbone, in favour of a greater anti-dive
effect. This effect was a key Red Bull strength early in the
season, with the RB19 not diving under braking, creating a more
stable platform for the drivers. W14 modified sidepods The new
sidepods with a sloping profile made their debut in the
Principality, abandoning the zero sidepod concept. SF-23 side
profile comparison The new version with sloping sides, without the
upper “tub” made its debut at the Spanish Grand Prix – see the
comparison by clicking through the images. SF-23 floor evolution In
Austria, with one of the various developments of the floor, Ferrari
introduced a new layout of the lower Red Bull-style air-flow

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *