Categories: F1 News

Mercedes: “Our ‘Table of Doom’ predicted we would perform poorly this year”

In Abu Dhabi, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said that their so-called table of doom had helped them this season to predict where the W13 would perform well and less well.

Mercedes finished third in the constructors’ championship last season and given their track record in recent years, we can safely speak of a disappointing season. The W13 proved to be a difficult car to tame and although they worked tirelessly at Brackley to turn things around, they had to recognize their superiority in Red Bull and Ferrari.

In Abu Dhabi, team boss Toto Wolff spoke for the first time about the table of doom, a simulation that can predict where his team would come out strong and where not. After the strong performance in Brazil, expectations were high.

“I think Interlagos was a perfect fit for our car and everything went very, very smoothly,” said Wolff in Abu Dhabi. “And Abu Dhabi was one of the worst circuits in our table of doom – not catastrophic like the high-speed circuits, but still not ideal.”

The team’s chief strategist, James Vowles, gave an extra word of explanation on YouTube.

“I think you’ve heard Toto Wolff refer to the ‘table of doom’,” says Vowles. “This is something that we built internally that allows us to somewhat predict where our car will be against certainly the fastest cars on the track and it worked quite well.”

“It’s something that actually had a pretty good agreement over the whole season and it said, for example, that we would be significantly more competitive in Mexico and Brazil than we were in Abu Dhabi.”

“It’s a function of the attributes that make our car both strong and weak, and that turned out to be true and as negative as it may come across, that’s a very good thing because it means that we’re taking the attributes of our car that we understanding well enough that they appear to be real in reality and that there is a connection between the reasons behind them.”

Vowles also gives an extra word of explanation as to why Mercedes fell short in Abu Dhabi compared to its competitors.

“Part of it is I think Ferrari took a step back in Mexico and Brazil, hard to explain why, but they certainly weren’t as competitive there as they were in Abu Dhabi towards the end of the season,” he said.

“They were a fierce competitor in Abu Dhabi, very, very fast on the straights and competitive overall with good tire degradation.”

“Of course that doesn’t explain why we took another step back from Red Bull, but I think it can be explained by the characteristics of where our car is weak and where it is strong.”

“Brazil had a lot of corner sets, types of corners that really fit the characteristics of our car, which unfortunately we didn’t have in Abu Dhabi.”

“The last thing is that Abu Dhabi had very, very cool conditions when we were really racing at night and we saw a few traits on the tyre, a little bit of graining on the front axle and on the rear axle and that definitely hurt us in the race.”

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Valeria Medeiros

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