What’s happening at Silverstone? Suddenly it seems that the supremacy of Red Bull has been questioned and Mercedes seems to have wanted to put things back in a pre-defined order that is linked to the history of the hybrid era, as if to cancel a time period between Spanish GP, last pole position and victory for Lewis Hamilton, before the “awakening” at the British GP.
A cycle made up of five Red Bull successes (Monaco, Baku, France, Styria and Austria) that allowed Milton Keynes’s team to take off in the Constructors ‘World Championship with 44 points of advantage and in the drivers’ one where Verstappen leads with 32 points .
The analysis of the telemetry of the Bobbi team shows us that in qualifying the W12 suddenly seems to have found the polish that seemed definitively lost with the excessive resistance to the advancement of the black arrow that prevented it from exploiting all the power of the power unit.
The Mercedes has returned to soar in the straights and fast corners, while the Red Bull seemed more at ease in the medium-speed stretches (around 200 km / h). Lewis Hamilton at the speed trap reached 330.7 km / h followed like a shadow by Valtteri Bottas capable of 329.4 km / h, while Verstappen’s RB16B returned to suffer.
The Dutchman complained already in Q2 of an annoying understeer which prevented him from finding the right feeling with the car at Stowe and in the sequence of Maggots and Becketts, finding a kidney shot in Chapel and Stowe.
But if in the second section the Red Bull was faster by only 35 thousandths and in the third it was equal to the Mercedes (+1 thousandth), Lewis made the difference in the first piece of track where he trimmed a tenth to his rival. : the W12 loomed from Abbey to the Arena (turn 4), where Max passed with a peak of 24 km / h of advantage which highlights how the Englishman must have made a small mistake.
Witness the fact that in the last run of Q3 Hamilton would have demolished his time if he hadn’t made a cross in the final: his ideal lap could have been 1’25 “880, that is to say 265 thousandths better than the theoretical best performance. by Verstappen. In short, a lot of stuff!
What do all these numbers mean? That Mercedes, supported by a driver very motivated to prove that the world championship is not over at all, has made a big leap in quality.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12 detail of the new bargeboard
Photo by: Uncredited
Toto Wolff was quick to say that the changes introduced for the British GP could not restore parity with Red Bull: the changes introduced in the bargeboards, in the flow deviators on the sides of the bellies and in the bottom, instead, have contributed to to restore morale to Brackley’s team that seemed resigned to being attacked by Milton Keynes.
In fact we knew that in Mercedes they managed to solve a serious problem of the W12: the feeling is that the trouble could come from the bottom with the waves that must have been the great asset of the black arrow and that, instead, it could have been a great ( and unusual) Brackley aero flop.
But a new fund is not realized in a few weeks: the realization of the new solution took time (it takes more than a month) and in the meantime in Mercedes they had to play clearly in defense, aware that the excessive aerodynamic resistance of the car does not occur. could limit simply by unloading the wings. The proof we had in Austria, when Hamilton had to give up an unloaded rear configuration because it did not have the necessary rear support.
Mercedes W12, comparison of the rear wing with Hamilton without the nolder compared to Bottas
Photo by: Uncredited
At Silverstone, however, the two W12s were able to deliberate for the weekend, which also includes the Sprint Qualifying, rear wings with the mobile flap with less string and without the T-wing, a sign that the lost load from the car body has been found. Lewis also gave up the nolder mounted on Bottas’ moving wing to reduce drag.