Mercedes has revealed that its 2016 Formula 1 car could have some 'interesting' innovations on it, as the team bids to maintain its dominance of grand prix racing.
With both world championships already sealed, Mercedes tried a host of new parts during practice in Brazil last weekend – including a new suspension design and aerodynamic parts that could form part of an S-duct type solution.
The team is adamant that it needs to push hard to fend off the increasing challenge from Ferrari, which is why it is considering making some radical steps with its W07.
When asked by Motorsport.com if the Friday tests at Interlagos suggested that its 2016 challenger may be quite an aggressive design, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said: “You can get it pretty wrong if you go for an evolution of a car that performs pretty well already.
“So, we are not quite sure yet. There is some interesting stuff being drawn, being tested in the tunnel and looked at. One of those very interesting areas, bits of it were on the car on Friday.
“It is a permanent evaluation between evolution and revolution, and it is not yet clear whether we want to take it a bit more innovative or not. But at the moment it is good to have secured the championship and be able to look at things.”
Although the S-duct concept parts grabbed most of the media's attention at Brazil last weekend, Motorsport.com has learned that the biggest change that was trialled was a new suspension design.
This experiment was revealed through the humps in the nose section of the car. Although the specifics of the design are not known, there are suggestions that the team could be developing a new form of hydraulic suspension that interconnects the left and right hand side of the car.
Mercedes was a pioneer of the FRIC (Front and Rear Inter Connected) system that was outlawed last year, and so has good experience of the way it works.
The team is also believed to be evaluating raising the height of the chassis next year – to get more air underneath the car.
This would require a new suspension layout, and could also mean that an S-duct becomes an essential part of its design to help with aerodynamics.