Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
44 days
09 May
Next event in
62 days
23 May
Race in
79 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
93 days
13 Jun
Race in
101 days
27 Jun
Race in
114 days
04 Jul
Next event in
118 days
18 Jul
Race in
136 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
149 days
29 Aug
Race in
177 days
05 Sep
Race in
184 days
12 Sep
Race in
191 days
26 Sep
Race in
205 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
209 days
10 Oct
Race in
219 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
234 days
31 Oct
Race in
241 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
261 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
276 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
282 days

Video: Mercedes says bold new sidepod design worth 0.25s

Mercedes claims that the aggressive sidepod design of its 2018 Formula 1 car is worth around 0.25 seconds in laptime improvement alone.

Video: Mercedes says bold new sidepod design worth 0.25s

The team pushed hard over the winter with its W09 to slim down dramatically the rear end of the car, focusing on engine packaging and bodywork to ensure it was as compact as possible at the rear.

In a video released by the team on Tuesday, Mercedes technical director James Allison has hailed the sidepod change as the biggest area of performance improvement on a car that he says is 'much, much faster' than its predecessor.

"The biggest [change] is down here in the sidepod," he said. "We've done an awful lot of work down there to try to make that car really, really slender.

"If you compare it to this [2017] car, you can just see the difference. You can see that the bodywork bulges out around about where the engine and exhaust pack is.

"On the new car this is a much, much more slender thing. It doesn't look like much of a difference but actually when you add it all up it is something like 0.25 seconds just there!

"It doesn't look like much of a difference but it was actually a huge amount of work. A lot of hair got lost in that project, but the end result is something that is pretty to look at but also much more importantly is an awful lot quicker." 

As well as changes to the front suspension, lifting the front wishbones to help improve airflow underneath the car, Allison said that there has been improvements in almost all areas of the chassis as well.

And in what could serve as a warning to rival teams, he is clear that last year's title-winning W08 car would be 'blown away' if it had to compete against this year's challenger.

Allison added: "Across the entire car, across every part of its surface, we've made it new. We've found different ways of doing it.

"We have found improved way of getting downforce and performance into the car. Each one of them is small in isolation but they add up in their totality to something that is enormous.

"Last year's car was the quickest one out there. It won more races than any other and it was of course the championship winner.

"But last year's car would be utterly hopeless, it would be blown away by this one because of all that work by all those people over an entire year making modifications at every level. All of them are small but all of them are accumulating to a huge end result and a car that is just much, much faster."

How they compare

W08

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 pit stop
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 pit stop

Photo by: Sutton Images

W09

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09

Photo by: Sutton Images

 
shares
comments
Perez admits Force India not leading midfield pack

Previous article

Perez admits Force India not leading midfield pack

Next article

McLaren to address bodywork burns with cooling fix

McLaren to address bodywork burns with cooling fix
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Prime

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Prime

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Prime

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021 Prime

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Prime

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Prime

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Prime

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new teammate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine Prime

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine

OPINION: It's been an uneasy ride for Esteban Ocon since his F1 comeback - and fresh challenges lie in wait as he's joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso in the newly rebranded Alpine team. STUART CODLING sets out a roadmap to success…

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021