Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech gallery: How the Mercedes W08 evolved throughout 2017

A selection of the best technical illustrations and images of Mercedes 2017 challenger, the W08, courtesy of Giorgio Piola, Sutton Images and LAT images.

In detail

In detail
1/73

The W08’s steering wheel featured clutch paddles with finger sockets that allowed the driver to have more feel and better modulation when trying to find the bite point.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

In detail

In detail
2/73

The serrated windscreen used by the team to reduce helmet buffeting.

Photo by: Mark Sutton

Pre-season testing

Pre-season testing
3/73

Early changes made to the diffuser included the segregation of the rearward reaching Gurney trims (inset).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Pre-season testing

Pre-season testing
4/73

Mercedes optimised its axehead and bargeboard arrangement, segmenting the previously double element into four distinctly separate sections.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Pre-season testing

Pre-season testing
5/73

For comparison, here is the two-element axehead used previously.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Australian GP

Australian GP
6/73

The new front wing and brake duct used by Mercedes in Australia. Among the changes were 1) a slot carved into the ‘r’ cascade, 2) the brake duct inlet now incorporating mesh-style metal strips to prohibit the collection of debris, and 3) slots cut into the vertical fence, creating another forward element which was twisted in order to affect the airflow around it.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Australian GP

Australian GP
7/73

The W08’s novel shark fin engine cover cooling chimney, triple-element T-wing and the squashed wastegate pipework.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Chinese GP

Chinese GP
8/73

The team introduced a longitudinal floor slot in China (highlighted in yellow), looking to maximise how flow moved along the floor's flank.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Chinese GP

Chinese GP
9/73

Mercedes utilised these perforated Gurney tabs in order to improve the rejection of heat from the engine cover cooling outlet in China.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Chinese GP

Chinese GP
10/73

The team continued to use the taller pitot tube stanchion (inset) for data accumulation during FP1 and FP2 but from FP3 onwards would switch to the shorter, more aerodynamically adept, single pitot stack.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Chinese GP

Chinese GP
11/73

A nice view of the splitter region and its various supports without all the bodywork attached.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Bahrain GP

Bahrain GP
12/73

Mercedes using an open drum design in order to evacuate the heat generated under braking out of the wheel face in bulk.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Bahrain GP

Bahrain GP
13/73

A large kiel probe array is mounted at the rear of the car to enable the team to better understand how the sidepods, engine cover and rear wing are performing.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Russian GP

Russian GP
14/73

A close-up of the larger cooling hood around the exhaust and extra cooling opened up around the upper rear wishbones.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Russian GP

Russian GP
15/73

Instructions printed on the steering wheel as a reminder of the settings that need to be applied.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Spanish GP

Spanish GP
16/73

A side view of the nose cape introduced by Mercedes in Spain, the first time we’ve seen such a design utilised.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Spanish GP

Spanish GP
17/73

A top-down view of the new nosecone, which had to be made slimmer in order to accommodate the nose cape. Also note the displacement of the nose camera pods on new stalks.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Spanish GP

Spanish GP
18/73

A side-on comparison of the W08 - the front wheel and suspension assembly are faded out so that we can see how large a surface the nose cape is when compared with the usual turning vane configuration. Also note the camera mount changes and the optimisations made to the bargeboards.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Spanish GP

Spanish GP
19/73

The W08’s front brake and suspension assembly. Note the placement of the upper wishbone with the team using a horn to extend the upright, on which a new winglet was mounted in Spain.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Spanish GP

Spanish GP
20/73

The floor flap added by Mercedes in Spain (highlighted in yellow), replacing the triangular flap used in previous races (inset).

Photo by: Sutton Images

Spanish GP

Spanish GP
21/73

The three ‘r’-shaped cascades added to the bargeboards as part of a package of optimisations in Spain.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Monaco GP

Monaco GP
22/73

Another look at the nose cape introduced by Mercedes in Spain, this time from the rear, showing the flattened-out section that pushes the air in the desired positions.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Monaco GP

Monaco GP
23/73

A close-up of the front wing endplate, complete with its twisted and slotted rear section.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Monaco GP

Monaco GP
24/73

The two-tier monkey seat used by the team in combination with the high-downforce rear wing.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
25/73

The open drum brake assembly used by Mercedes in Canada helps to evacuate the heat generated under braking more quickly.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
26/73

A view of the front wing's vortex tunnel, which ushers airflow around the front tyre and improves the shape of the wake shed by it.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
27/73

Seen here off the car are the louvred panels that are usually mounted alongside the driver.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
28/73

The segmented axehead and bargeboard strakes.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
29/73

A close-up of the floor flap on the rear quarter of the floor.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Canadian GP

Canadian GP
30/73

A close-up of the twisted and slotted endplate.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Azerbaijan GP

Azerbaijan GP
31/73

Mercedes front brake assembly shows the apertures in the cake tin's upper panel used to reject heat created under braking.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Azerbaijan GP

Azerbaijan GP
32/73

From FP3 onwards in Baku, the team went to a balanced brake duct configuration.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Azerbaijan GP

Azerbaijan GP
33/73

The team trimmed its front wing's upper flap significantly in Baku in order to balance it with the lower-downforce rear wing being used.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Azerbaijan GP

Azerbaijan GP
34/73

Mercedes trialled this lower-downforce spoon-style rear wing in Baku before reverting to a higher-downforce configuration.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Azerbaijan GP

Azerbaijan GP
35/73

The higher-downforce rear wing raced by the team in Baku.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Austrian GP

Austrian GP
36/73

Having introduced its nose cape in Spain, Mercedes made an optimisation in Austria, placing a slot a few centimetres from the trailing edge and upturning the latter section.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Austrian GP

Austrian GP
37/73

A look at the L-shaped vane mounted to the side of the crash structure that the team added in Austria (red arrow), along with the smaller blade-style winglets added either side of the structure (yellow arrow).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Austrian GP

Austrian GP
38/73

Mercedes revised its wing mirror and stalk design in Austria, placing the stalk further inboard (arrowed).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Austrian GP

Austrian GP
39/73

A top-down view of the engine cover shows the cooling chimney used by Mercedes to evacuate heat.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Austrian GP

Austrian GP
40/73

A close-up of the shorter-chord third tier on the Mercedes T-wing.

Photo by: Sutton Images

British GP

British GP
41/73

The rear brake and suspension assembly. Note the cluster of winglets mounted on the inner brake fence.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

British GP

British GP
42/73

The floor unmounted from the car shows the detail around its front edge, including the bargeboards.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
43/73

A look at the nose and the ‘cape’ solution used by Mercedes.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
44/73

A close-up of the nose cape introduced in Spain. Note the curved coke bottle=style shape used to direct the airflow rearward.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
45/73

On this shot of the front wing, note the small silver vortex generators atop the bridged section of the mainplane.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
46/73

A close-up of the diffuser and crash structure, on which several winglets are mounted.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
47/73

An unobstructed view of the rear of the car as the team hadn’t mounted the rear wing at this point.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP
48/73

The high-downforce rear wing used by Mercedes in Hungary.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
49/73

The team used a cut-down upper flap on the front wing in Belgium (arrowed), while introducing a slot in the rearward section of the nose ‘cape’.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
50/73

A close-up of the front wing endplate shows the level of detail used at the rear of the surface in order to turn flow outboard.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
51/73

The W08’s front brake assembly without the brake drum attached shows the complexity of the pipework that feeds various components, such as the disc and caliper. Also note how the mechanics have used silver tape to blank one of the openings to reduce cooling.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Belgian GP

Belgian GP
52/73

The car during build-up, showing off many of the details that normally lie hidden beneath the bodywork.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Italian GP

Italian GP
53/73

The low-downforce, single-use rear wing favoured by Mercedes at Monza features a low angle of attack and just three endplate louvres to disperse the tip vortex.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Singapore GP

Singapore GP
54/73

The W08’s diffuser was updated in Singapore, with an additional vertical vane mounted on the upper outer corner (arrowed).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Singapore GP

Singapore GP
55/73

Mercedes introduced a full-length shark fin in Singapore.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Malaysian GP

Malaysian GP
56/73

The updated nose ‘cape’, which features a much broader leading edge (arrowed).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Malaysian GP

Malaysian GP
57/73

Mercedes optimised the bargeboards and axehead in Malaysia, with more aggressive and elongated vanes used on the edge of the bargeboard (red arrows) and one less strake forming the axehead (blue arrows).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Malaysian GP

Malaysian GP
58/73

The updated diffuser run by Mercedes in Malaysia featured two more strakes.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Japanese GP

Japanese GP
59/73

The closed-off version of the team's front brake drum.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Japanese GP

Japanese GP
60/73

The W08 without the covers on shows the installation detail of the power unit and ancillary coolers.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Japanese GP

Japanese GP
61/73

A close-up of the wing mirrors, their stalks and the arched winglet ahead of them.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Japanese GP

Japanese GP
62/73

The two-tier monkey seat utilised for extra balance and more rear downforce.

Photo by: Sutton Images

United States GP

United States GP
63/73

An action shot of the car, with the right rear tyre loaded to the point of nearly tearing off the rim, with small standing waves appearing.

United States GP

United States GP
64/73

A close-up of the winglet mounted to the ride height sensor and vertical splitter support.

Photo by: Sutton Images

United States GP

United States GP
65/73

A close-up of the floor's edge and the various aero elements in that area.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Mexican GP

Mexican GP
66/73

A great side view of the W08’s nose ‘cape’ shows the contours of the large surface.

Photo by: Mark Sutton

Brazilian GP

Brazilian GP
67/73

A close-up of the front brake duct with its plethora of winglets.

Photo by: Mark Sutton

Brazilian GP

Brazilian GP
68/73

A close-up of the W08’s bargeboards, with the elongated and aggressively outturned vanes that were reprofiled in Malaysia.

Photo by: Mark Sutton

Brazilian GP

Brazilian GP
69/73

An extreme close-up of the slots ahead of the rear wheel. Note the sections of floor which have been stitched in and feature different weaves of carbon fibre in order that it be rigid in the right places.

Photo by: Mark Sutton

Brazilian GP

Brazilian GP
70/73

The W08 with a high-downforce rear wing configuration and the elongated shark fin which meets the T-wing support introduced in Singapore.

Photo by: Mark Sutton

Brazilian GP

Brazilian GP
71/73

A close-up of Mercedes' open-ended-style endplate louvres.

Photo by: Mark Sutton

Abu Dhabi GP

Abu Dhabi GP
72/73

The access panel for the additional load sensors embedded in the bargeboards for the team to study potential changes for the 2018 car.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Post-Abu Dhabi GP test

Post-Abu Dhabi GP test
73/73

Kiel probe arrays mounted behind both front wheels as the team assesses the aerodynamic consequences of a new tyre construction from Pirelli for 2018.

Photo by: Mark Sutton
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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Article type Top List
Topic Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis