The past two races at Silverstone show that F1 cars are extremely sensitive machines.
The same car with a racer on the same Silverstone race for two completely different results. Mercedes finished first in comfort at the British Grand Prix on August 2. But the following week, they struggled again with Max Verstappen, even though the RB16 was completely inferior to the W11 at Silverstone the week before.
Has Verstappen accidentally pointed out the inherent weakness of the W11?
The capacity of the F1 car lies in two key factors: engine power and aerodynamic compression. However, while mastering both of these elements, teams must have a good understanding of how the tires work, in order to convert their potential power into a track result.
Without mastering the tires, no matter how strong the car is, it will not be able to perform well. As a result, teams spend a lot of time and money on field testing, carefully understanding how the tires work on the track to optimize the vehicle’s performance.
Basically, the two Red Bull and Mercedes cars have not changed in engine power – aerodynamics between the last two races at Silverstone. The ratings show that the distance between the W11 and the RB16 is about one second per lap.
This parameter was predicted early and demonstrated in previous races. But during the race at Silverstone on Aug. 9, a clear weakness was evident on the W11 as Mercedes was unable to translate its performance advantage into actual results on the track.
The longer the tire use time, the more the W11 tires will blister and quickly deteriorate. This has a significant impact on performance, so after just a few laps, Mercedes ordered both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton to slow down to keep the tires.
But the tire problem at the F1 70 Grand Prix differs in essence from the breakdown at the British Grand Prix.