First look: Mercedes' Japanese GP upgrades

Mercedes has made minor tweaks to its sidepod-mounted turning vanes ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix in an effort to close back in on Formula 1 rival Ferrari.

First look: Mercedes' Japanese GP upgrades

Following the summer break and the introduction of its successful Singapore upgrade package, Ferrari has largely outclassed Mercedes, which has not brought any meaningful updates in recent rounds.

Aiming to draw level once more, Mercedes has brought a small update to Suzuka to put the pressure back on Ferrari.

Team principal Toto Wolff promised that Mercedes would test "little things that we are just interested to explore" in Suzuka, but stressed that the team has no plans for any larger upgrades this year.

Read Also:

The turning vanes have now transitioned into three distinct 'phases'. The front vertical piece (green arrow) remains, but the central horizontal elements marked with the red arrow have increased from four to five, and no longer extend below the sidepod-mounted element as the previous specification did.

While the sidepod-mounted piece (purple arrow) was formerly made of one piece, it has now been broken into two parts - presumably with the intention to generate tip vortices.

The image below details the difference between the old specification (left) and the new specification (right).

Mercedes F1 AMG W10 technical detail

Mercedes F1 AMG W10 technical detail

Photo by: LAT Images

Read Also:

The element mounted to the top of the sidepod will induce a small amount of lift, but in doing so can direct a passage of air down the slope of the sidepods.

Breaking the two parts up allows the team to extend the vertical component further up.

Over the season, Mercedes has been conscientiously modifying its turning vane and bargeboard assembly to extract performance from the car.

At the beginning of the year, the launch car featured three vertical vanes, but the switch to a greater focus on the horizontal elements suggests a vastly modified approach to conditioning the tyre wake.

Using a mixture of horizontal and vertical parts gives Mercedes's aerodynamicists more options in breaking down the turbulence and turning it into something useable.

shares
comments
Verstappen samples Honda's first F1 winner

Previous article

Verstappen samples Honda's first F1 winner

Next article

Magnussen remains at odds with "trigger-happy" F1 stewards

Magnussen remains at odds with "trigger-happy" F1 stewards
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Japanese GP
Teams Mercedes
Author Jake Boxall-Legge
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021