FIA rule set to give Lewis Hamilton boost as Mercedes to get more testing time for W13

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are set to benefit from an FIA rule which will give Mercedes more wind tunnel testing time for their W13.

The Silver Arrows are set to be afforded more time for aerodynamic testing in the second half of the season, given their performance so far this year. Wind tunnel time is currently capped under FIA regulations, with each team given an allocation based on results.

As the 2021 constructors’ champions, Mercedes saw their aero testing time most restricted for the first half of the current season. But they have now been knocked off their perch, and are third in the pecking order behind Red Bull and Ferrari after the first nine races.

Mercedes have also dropped two places in the ATR handicap system which is used to determine the allocation of wind tunnel time. It means the Brackley-based team will now be allowed 80% of the total time compared to other teams, having had to settle for 70% previously.

As they have moved one position up the handicap system each, Red Bull and Ferrari are set to lose 5% of their wind tunnel time each. Alfa Romeo and Haas will also pay a small price for their own improved performances, while Williams is the other team to benefit after dropping two places in the system.

Mercedes can use the extra wind tunnel time as they see fit, and could use it in their development of their 2023 car. It means Hamilton and Russell should be able to drive a car which has better aerodynamics than might have been the case, with more time available to perfect the design.

Mercedes are set to benefit from more wind tunnel testing time to improve Lewis Hamilton’s car
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Meanwhile, Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott has confirmed that the team will be bringing upgrades for the W13 to the upcoming British Grand Prix. “We will be bringing new bits to Silverstone, we will be trying to push the car forward, trying to get some pace from the car we’ve got or from the package we’ve got as well as the new bits we are going to add to it,” he said.

“I think Silverstone will be a circuit that suits us a little bit better, like Barcelona did, but maybe it will be just a little bit difficult. Whatever happens we will push as hard as we can. Our drivers will push as hard as we can because we want to get back to winning. We want to win for the team, we definitely want to win and we want to win for you, the fans, so let’s see what happens.”

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