Mercedes: W11 F1 car design means gearbox troubles "will appear" again

Mercedes thinks that repeat gearbox problems on its W11 would be inevitable with its current Formula 1 car configuration, after revealing a build-up of electrical noise is triggering its issues

Mercedes: W11 F1 car design means gearbox troubles "will appear" again

With the team still chasing a solution to the difficulties that affected both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton at the Red Bull Ring, it has emerged that the matter is not directly related to the mechanical aspects of the gearbox.

Instead, a combination of the layout of the W11 internals, plus the vibrations put through the car by the kerbs in Austria, are causing a perfect storm of trouble for the German car manufacturer.

PLUS: How reliability overshadowed developments at the Austrian GP

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin says that the gearbox problems in Austria were not a one-off in the race, and are something that the team was battling with throughout the first weekend.

"We were we were aware of it on Friday, when you saw that Valtteri had an issue at the end of one of the sessions," said Shovlin. "So that that was the first sign that we had a problem.

"We've had recurrent issues over the course of Saturday. And going into the race, we were expecting it because it seems to be a feature of the model.

"So at the moment, if we build the car and run it, this problem will appear at some point. It's a question of how soon."

Shovlin explained that the cause of the problems is related to a build-up of electrical interference within the car systems - which ultimately begin to impact on the gearbox and its sensors.

"It's not manifesting itself as one thing," he said. "It's basically a build-up of electrical noise.

"That starts to interfere with the various systems. With Valtteri, we saw this around halfway through the race. It got progressively worse with Lewis, and it appeared later.

"But it's an electrical noise that's then affecting a lot of different things."

Mercedes is still looking at what changes it can make to its car for this weekend's Styrian Grand Prix in a bid to minimise the electrical noise problem.

While changes may require modifications to the gearbox, it is understood it will not require a totally new gearbox design.

shares
comments
How Red Bull made the FIA give Hamilton his F1 Austrian GP grid penalty
Previous article

How Red Bull made the FIA give Hamilton his F1 Austrian GP grid penalty

Next article

Fernando Alonso's 10 greatest F1 races

Fernando Alonso's 10 greatest F1 races
Load comments
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021