Mercedes: FIA-mandated front wing tweak has aero impact

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted that the changes it had to make to its new front wing before practice for the Chinese Grand Prix did have an aerodynamic impact on its car.

Mercedes: FIA-mandated front wing tweak has aero impact

The Brackley-based outfit appeared in Shanghai with a modified front wing, which featured a different cut endplate to produce a curved trailing edge.

The aim of this was to help open up the space between the wing and the front tyre to help improve the outwash effect.

But following discussions with the FIA, and a physical inspection from head of single seater technical matter Nikolas Tombazis, Mercedes was asked to make changes to the wing to ensure it complied with the rules.

Mercedes AMG F1 W10 previous front wing design

Mercedes AMG F1 W10 previous front wing design

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The FIA believed that the design – which left the trailing end of the front wing planes exposed – was in breach of the rules that forbids elements from standing outside the endplate shadow.

Mercedes duly shaved back the wing edges and tipped them with round-edged plastic. This was the only modification that the team had to do, as the endplate itself did not need any changes.

Mercedes AMG F1 W10 revised front wing design

Mercedes AMG F1 W10 revised front wing design

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The rule that Mercedes fell foul of is aimed at ensuring sharp parts like wing elements are not in areas that could risk causing punctures in the event of contact of car damage.

Although Mercedes went on to secure a front row lock out with its modified wing, Wolff said that the changes were not without consequence.

Asked by Motorsport.com about the impact of the late tweak to its wing, Wolff said: “Well, it would be sad if you saw off a front wing and that hasn't got any impact. Then the aero doesn't work how it should. These things always have an impact.”

But despite the effect, Wolff said that Mercedes accepted the FIA’s interpretation of the rules – following correspondence earlier this week in the form of Technical Directives.

“If your interpretation of the rules is different to what the FIA's interpretation is, you need to accept the sporting authority,” added Wolff.

“So it was a bit of a complication to modify hardware components on the field. But we have a really good group of people here who were able to do that under war conditions.”

Mercedes AMG F1 W10 revised front wing design

Mercedes AMG F1 W10 revised front wing design

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

shares
comments
Albon gets new Honda engine after FP3 crash

Previous article

Albon gets new Honda engine after FP3 crash

Next article

Raikkonen's 'power loss' was actually "strange" headwind

Raikkonen's 'power loss' was actually "strange" headwind
Load comments
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021