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Formula 1 United States GP

What has changed with Mercedes' upgraded W14 F1 floor

Mercedes has introduced a new floor at Formula 1's United States Grand Prix which the team has already said will be a 'bellwether' for its 2024 car progress.

Mercedes W14 technical detail

The changes that have been made to the W14's floor can be broken down into two segments: those that have an impact in the forward-most section and those that have an impact on the outer edge.

However, it's worth noting that whilst we can clearly see changes to the external surfaces, it's also likely that a great deal of work has been done to the underfloor in order to reap the rewards on offer here too.

Mercedes W14 technical detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes W14 technical detail

At the front of the floor, the leading edge has been raised and the floor fences adjusted not only in their position but also their shape, in order that they have an impact on the airflow both below and above the floor's leading edge.

In tandem with this, the outermost fence has been adjusted, with a feathered edge utilised prior to the transition ramp in the floor, rather than a large step.

This ramped section of the floor has also been adjusted to make use of the volumetric alterations made to the underfloor in this region.

Mercedes W14 technical detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes W14 technical detail

The forward section of the edge wing, which already featured a scroll-like design, complete with vanes, has also been modified.

This scrolled section now has even more camber, resulting in the vanes having to be reorientated in order that they provide the necessary support for the additional load being generated.

Mercedes also appears to have taken a leaf out of Alpine's playbook from earlier in the season, with tufts being used as a means to check that the modifications are working as anticipated.

Mercedes was coy in the lead-up to this race about the update and the potential that might be on offer as a result of it.

However, it's clear that there's a great deal that the team can learn from changes being made now, in order to get a better understanding of how its ideas might work on next year's project too.

"It will hopefully bring a small gain but more importantly, is another milestone in setting our development path for W15," noted team boss Toto Wolff.

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