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

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2021

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
26 - Mar 28
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18
Italy
7 - May 9
Spain
20 - May 23
Monaco
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20
France
25 - Jun 27
Austria
2 - Jul 4
Austria
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1
Hungary
27 - Aug 29
Belgium
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12
Italy
24 - Sep 26
Russian
1 - Oct 3
Singapore
8 - Oct 10
Japan
22 - Oct 24
United States of America
29 - Oct 31
Mexico
5 - Nov 7
Brazil
19 - Nov 21
Australia
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28
16 - Apr 18
7 - May 9
20 - May 23
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26
Russian Sochi Autodrom
1 - Oct 3
8 - Oct 10
22 - Oct 24
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
29 - Oct 31
5 - Nov 7
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21
Australia Albert Park
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar