Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Mercedes reveals radical new nose


Mercedes finally revealed its much talked-about radical new nose during the final day of Formula 1 testing at Barcelona in Spain on Thursday.

The team had come into the test talking about a number of 'unusual' parts that it would be trialling as it worked on delivering performance steps to its car.

As well as radical new bargeboards and extra dog-leg vanes around the sidepods, Mercedes caused a stir on Thursday morning when a new high nose appeared.

At first glance it did not appear to be that different, but as these exclusive photographs show there appears to be an S-duct configuration with a number of channels hidden on the side.

Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 front detail

Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 front detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Tech analysis by Matt Somerfield

Mercedes duly delivered on its promise to introduce an 'unusual' new nose at this week's first pre-season F1 test.

The pitlane was abuzz with excitement when it appeared but is it the game changer that we expected?


The most dramatic change comes in the form of an 'S' duct, with the inlet placed particularly far forward (arrowed) collecting airflow and dispatching it to the outlet which is placed a long way back, to the rear of the vanity panel.

This reinterpretation of the 'S' duct is much closer aligned to the origin of the device, used by Ferrari in 2008 with the pipework within the nose allowing much more freedom than the likes of McLaren's 'S' duct which has truncated pipework in front of the bulkhead.

Whilst most of the attention was on the new nose presented by Mercedes, complete with 'S' duct, there were other changes abound too. 

Mercedes AMG F1 W07 front wing detail
Mercedes AMG F1 W07 front wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

From a physical perspective it means that the wing performs differently under load and as such may make passing the load/flex tests in Melbourne more difficult, as we reported earlier.

By changing the shape of the juncture they have also changed the shape of the Y250 vortex, with the pressure gradients colliding differently.

This should have a marked effect on the airflow downstream, such as the splitter region, new bargeboards and sidepod undercut. All of which have an impact on performance further downstream too.

Mercedes AMG F1 W07 detail
Mercedes AMG F1 W07 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The under chassis turning vanes have also been revised, with their main design retained but some additional serrations added to the footplate, improving efficiency.

Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 nose detail
Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 nose detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Twisted concept

The overall design centres around the outgoing nose shape, whilst the front wing connecting pylons have been twisted slightly more inward at their leading edge, to account for the slightly narrower nose tip.

The connecting pylons are set as far back on the main plane as is possible, almost seemingly defying the laws of physics, based on the loads generated by the wing.

However, this is done in order that the nose's aerodynamic footprint has a certain effect on the neutral centre section of the main plane.

With all the teams using the same neutral section design, they're all in search of an advantage in this area.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Article type Analysis
Topic Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis