Mercedes share update on Toto Wolff's investigation into Lewis Hamilton concern

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Mercedes chief technical officer Mike Elliott provided an update on the issue (Image: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team)
Mercedes chief technical officer Mike Elliott provided an update on the issue (Image: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team)

Mercedes believe the bouncing experienced at the Belgian Grand Prix was NOT caused by their W14 upgrades.

Lewis Hamilton reported the problem after finishing fourth in Sunday's race. "We're back to the bouncing like we had last year," he said, adding that his team did not know the cause and that it was a "concern".

Team principal Toto Wolff vowed to look into the issue straight away and voiced his worry that the upgrades brought in for that race might have been behind the phenomenon's return.

"The car is just bouncing literally on every straight," said the Austrian. "Even Blanchimont was a corner that Lewis had to lift which is an easy flat [out] normally. You're bouncing on the straight, you overheat the tyres on the braking, so that is a vicious circle and was the main limiting factor this weekend.

"We've got to analyse it. There's so much hard work that's been going on in the upgrade, the aero guys and operations to deliver that upgrade. The floor could have been a reason why we've been bouncing."

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Mercedes have yet to nail down the exact cause of the bouncing experienced on their cars. But, in a positive update for fans, chief technical officer Mike Elliott expressed his belief that the upgrades are not likely to have been the main cause.

"We definitely had an amount of bouncing this weekend, both drivers were telling us that and we could see it in the data," he explained in the team's official video debrief for fans, published on Wednesday.

"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 terms 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.

"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."

Daniel Moxon

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