Mercedes Formula 1 team have brought a heavily upgraded F1 car to the Spanish Grand Prix, following the eminent threat from Ferrari, as the Brackley team head the Italian marque by just one point at the top of the constructors championship.
With an intense development race this year with the new cars, most people expected heavy upgrades for the first official European race, and most teams have brought big upgrades to the Circuit de Catalunya.
However, Mercedes have gone radical on their upgrades for the Grand Prix in their bid to pip Ferrari. Some of the most notable upgrades on the Mercedes include a new rear-wing, a winged-nose and new concept bargeboards.
— Craig Scarborough (@ScarbsTech) May 11, 2017
The team introduced an innovative, previously unseen, nose for the Spanish Grand Prix. The main aim behind this is to channel air to the bargeboards — which is also upgraded for this race — in a more efficient and smooth manner.
Although this wing may not change the quantity of air running through the bargeboard of the car, if the wing is not run, it however runs it in a more efficient way, which could be key to increasing downforce, as it runs through various elements of the car, most notably the diffuser.
Mercedes F1 team have, from the start of the season, put particular emphasis towards the front of the car, meanwhile its main rival Ferrari have been heavily focussing on the side-pot area and the rear of its car.
The team made a big direction change, as it introduced radically different bargeboards than it has been running, testing and developing throughout the past few years.
It is understood that the new bargeboard has been put into place to accommodate for the interesting nose, which aids airflow, and will play a key part in executing the airflow through the middle of the car, and eventually producing more downforce as it reaches the bargeboard area.
Despite eminent penalties of the Mercedes F1 team running a much longer wheelbase than Ferrari, the team have opted to stick with their concept that they took up at the start of the season, despite the eminent disadvantages presented with the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix and the tight final sector in Barcelona.
The longer wheelbase has its advantages and disadvantages; the team is favored in long corners, however in slow speed – like the final sector in Russia, which arguably cost the team a shot at pole – there is a penalty for the longer wheelbase. The penalty of it would be more likely felt in races such as Spain and Monaco.
The Mercedes F1 team admitted that their F1 car was overweight as compared to their main F1 rivals, which was costing the team performance, as they were tipped by Ferrari to two F1 victories thus far this season.
However, the team has put significant work into that area, and a source reveals to F1 Hub that the team cut out somewhere near 6 kilograms for the Spanish Grand Prix.