user icon

Mercedes hoping to use Ferrari tow in qualifying

  • Published on 05 Sep 2019 11:45
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mercedes is hoping that it can position itself behind the Ferrari cars during Q3 on Saturday, as it expects a tough battle in qualifying.

The Silver Arrows were almost eight-tenths of a second down on Charles Leclerc at Spa-Francorchamps, a track that rewards straight-line speed.

With Monza also notoriously kind to strong straight-line speed, Ferrari will be aiming for a second consecutive victory as it has holds the advantage in a straight line over Mercedes this year. 

At Spa, the end of Q3 saw a number of cars slow up as they attempted to find themselves in a position where they could benefit from a slipstream, which caused traffic issues.

“As you saw from qualifying a lot of the drivers were trying to get a tow from the cars in front," said Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin.

"The reason you do that in Spa is that there is very, very long straights and the car in front will reduce the amount of drag for the car behind and you pick up speed.

"And in the case of Spa, it’s about 4 to 5 kph, which can give you three or four tenths of a second. So, quite a lot of performance there if you can position your car right.

"The trick is though that no one wants to be that car in front. So, as you saw, Hulkenberg left, he thought that people would go past him if they drove slowly.

"But, as it happens, everyone had a very slow outlap, we were all tripping over each other. You do get the benefit of the tow, but the issue is your tyres are cold.

"And that was a problem for us, we lost a bit of time at the first corner just because the tyres weren’t in the right window."

Shovlin is expecting a similar situation this weekend at Monza, as teams fight to be in a position where they gain time from a slipstream during qualifying.

"Looking ahead to Monza, it’s going to be a similar situation," he stated. "Very high-speed track, long straights and everyone is going to be trying to get a tow off everyone else.

"So, what you will probably see in qualifying towards the end is people are staying in the garage, they are waiting for the clock to run down, no one wants to go out first but eventually you’ve got to go, you’ve got to get that outlap in and you’ll see people move.

"Now, what would be good is Ferrari, they are very fast in a straight line, if they would go out first, we can get behind them and get the benefit of that tow.”

Replies (0)

Login to reply

Related news

BR Grand Prix of Brazil

Local time 

View more photos

BR Grand Prix of Brazil

Local time 

View more photos

Test calendar

Circuit de Catalunya - Testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Is Lewis Hamilton the strongest driver so far in the 21st century?

World Championship standings 2019

Show full world champion standings

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Spain
15 - Mar 17
Australia
29 - Mar 31
Bahrain
-
Bahrain
12 - Apr 14
China
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan
10 - May 12
Spain
-
Spain
23 - May 26
Monaco
7 - Jun 9
Canada
21 - Jun 23
France
28 - Jun 30
Austria
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom
26 - Jul 28
Germany
2 - Aug 4
Hungary
30 - Sep 1
Belgium
6 - Sep 8
Italy
20 - Sep 22
Singapore
27 - Sep 29
Russian
11 - Oct 13
Japan
25 - Oct 27
Mexico
1 - Nov 3
United States of America
15 - Nov 17
Brazil
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
15 - Mar 17
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31
12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12
23 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom Silverstone
26 - Jul 28
Germany Hockenheimring
2 - Aug 4
Hungary Hungaroring
30 - Sep 1
6 - Sep 8
Italy Monza
20 - Sep 22
27 - Sep 29
Russian Sochi Autodrom
11 - Oct 13
25 - Oct 27
1 - Nov 3
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
15 - Nov 17
Brazil Interlagos
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar