What does a 60% wind tunnel have to do with anything? Lewis has already made comments about the downforce and what he perceives to be lack of.
What were the technical dead ends that the W01 and W02 chased after?
Also what about the dead end such as tire wear? They never got ahold of the tire wear issue for the entire season last year. I'd wager the W04 has the same problems.
Didn't you notice how they started trying to put focus on the 2014 car?
You asked why the WO4 won't go the same way as the WO3 which was one of the fastest cars at the beginning of last season, and to the relatively informed the 60% tunnel is one of the biggest reasons. Not only because the WO3's in season development was severely hampered by the upgrade of the windtunnel during the middle of the season which took a few months and would have slowed any aerodynamic development to a crawl, but also because the 60% model a much more accurate model and they are now on par with teams such as McLaren and Red Bull in terms of developmental equipment which should help with in-season development.
Of course the W04 still lacks downforce compared to the overall fastest car of last season ( according to Button so does the MP4-28) the 60% wind tunnel isn't a magical fix or bullet to suddenly allow them to catch up straightaway with the already refined cars of the bigger teams, but as shown by Rosberg's comments the car is a massive improvement on last year, and even Lewis with his cautious comments has alluded to them being just behind the bigger teams, the fact that unlike most other teams they set a faster time in Barcelona; testing with a car on hard tyres, not yet at Melbourne spec, than they did during Q3 last year, and with at least 7 laps of fuel in is reason to be positive, even with the general chatter about cold weather, also a 60% scale model it is part of a longer term solution accompanied by many organisational changes and its in the long term that it should really bear fruit.
The dead end was partly related to the interlinked suspension which without knowing the real specifics offhand made it very hard to change the car settings to deal with the narrow operating Pirellis, and partly related to the lack of downforce a cause of which was DDRS (which the car was built around), which didn't allow them to pursue philosophies such as flexible front wings, severely compromised set-up ect and the lack of a workable Coanda exhaust system (delayed by the wind tunnel revamp). Button mentioned last year sometime around Silverstone when the MP4-27 had been struggling with the tyres that the car needed more downforce, because downforce can help mask other problems, and the WO3 just didn't have enough of it, and for a significant amount of time didn't have the available capacity to deal with it..
Of course they are placing some focus on 2014 when the new engine regs will come in, of which Mercedes will be one of the biggest beneficiaries; the rules offer the chance to shakeup the field massively, and if Mercedes want to win anything they would be foolish not to pour resources into a year which offers their best chance of winning anything in the short term. especially when the pecking order looks unlikely to change for 2013, however there has been nothing, and I repeat nothing to suggest they have put the focus on the 2014 car. They have two designs teams something which Ferrari another engine manufacturer also now have, and they have Bob Bell currently evaluating design concepts, but I've seen or read nothing that the focus has already shifted onto 2014, especially when considering the pressure on key figures within the team (including Brawn), and on Mercedes to do well in 2013 it wouldn't make any sense to do so.
As for tyre wear we'll have to wait and see, Rosberg seems convinced that the problems with the tyres is gone, and it seems looking at the laptimes that none of the teams really have a hold on them and that Mercedes isn't destroying them faster than the rest, however for now we'll have to wait and see.
Edit: Atrocious grammar, but whatever
Edited by Kvothe, 24 February 2013 - 19:38.