Having seemingly rectified the significant bouncing and porpoising issues that plagued much of their 2022 campaign, the problems unexpectedly resurfaced last weekend in Belgium.
Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell reported excessive bouncing at high-speed during Sunday’s race at Spa-Francorchamps, with the seven-time world champion stressing his concern at the returning phenomenon.
After the race, Toto Wolff admitted the bouncing may have been caused by the new sidepods and floor designs Mercedes introduced and said an investigation would be carried out.
But Mercedes suspect the issue was related to car set-up and the specific nature of the circuit.
“We definitely had an amount of bouncing this weekend, both drivers were telling us that and we could see it in the data,” Mercedes chief technical officer Mike Elliott said in the team’s post-race debrief video.
“We could also see an amount of bouncing on the other cars and I think some of it is the nature of the circuit at Spa and in fact we had huge amounts of bouncing last year as did most teams.
“In teams of the performance, it definitely affects the performance of the cars because it affects the drivers’ ability to extract the maximum grip from the car, it affects their balance and it affects their ability to get their braking points right. So that is something we will be working on for the future.”
Elliott added: “The question we need to ask ourselves is, how much of it is just the circuit we were at in Spa and how much is to be found in setup because obviously it was a wet race weekend, a weekend where we had no dry running up until the point we were actually racing.
“We will also take a really good look at the upgrade kit and make sure that we’ve not introduced bouncing with that but at the moment our belief is it is probably a result of setup or the circuit itself.”