Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Tech analysis: The 15 key changes on the Mercedes W07
Giorgio Piola and Matt Somerfield detail the key design tweaks that Mercedes has made with its W07 design as it aims to continue its dominance of Formula 1.
Mercedes had already teased images of its new 2016 F1 car during a 'promotional' day at Silverstone on Friday when Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton completed almost 100km between them.
But on Sunday, the team finally delivered some clearer pictures of the car that it hopes will deliver it a third consecutive F1 championship double.
Although some of the most interesting aspects of the new design may not yet have been revealed – like the final nose design – there are some notable clear differences to the car compared to the W06.
1. The nose shown on the images released by Mercedes on Sunday is unchanged from the W06, and appears at first glance to be different to that run in the Silverstone shakedown earlier this week. We cannot rule out a new design being used when the car hits the track.
2. Like last season the steering arm has been placed in-line with the lower wishbone, creating less blockage and increasing the surface area of the two components. This allows them to condition the airflow in unison.
3. A large vanity panel fills the upper wedge at the front of the bulkhead, allowing easy access to make set-up changes, whilst the size of the panel means the introduction of an 'S' duct cannot be ruled out.
4. The horizontal leading edge slat, that forms part of the vertical sidepod airflow conditioner has been raised when compared with the W06.
The vortex generator now sits underneath the slat, rather than on top, and defines the difference in shape of the outboard section of the sidepod.
Like the Ferrari SF15-T bodywork used from Barcelona onwards in 2015, Mercedes has created a notch which changes the way in which the airflow moves around the sidepod.
5. The mirror stalks have been mounted closer to the cockpit, rather than on the side, which has allowed them to place a new much taller fin behind it.
6. The new, enlarged airbox combines the main compressor feed with the two 'ears' used on the W05 and infrequently on the W06 (like the below image shows from the Mexican GP for example).
7. Interestingly the airbox is lent back at an angle, which should allow airflow to follow the sculpting around the underside of it.
Whilst unusually a single centreline lifting spar is loop shaped rather than a simple straight edge.
8. The engine cover is a little more bulbous, accounting for the additional pipework associated with the enlarged airbox.
9. The sidepod cooling outlets have been shrunk, proving what a wonderful job they've done with cooling, considering they're expecting an uplift in power.
10. In line with the changes at #9, the rear undercut is now much more pronounced, maximising airflow in the coke bottle region.
11. Mercedes has increased the number of slots ahead of the rear tyre, reminiscent of Toro Rosso's approach in 2015 (see below), as it looks to marginalise the effects of tyre squirt.
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
12. The twin vertical floor strake arrangement used in the past has been retained.
13. The detached hoop run by Mercedes during the 2015 season seems to have been improved upon.
14. A twin wastegate arrangement will be run by Mercedes, echoing what we saw with the Williams FW38 launch.
15. A simple change, but the Y150 Winglet (Monkey Seat) now features an additional slot, which should assist in manipulating the exhaust plume, improving balance and performance.
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