Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech verdict: How Mercedes struck back at Suzuka

Mercedes achieved a monumental feat in Japan, becoming the first team in the sport’s history to capture six back-to-back drivers’ and constructors’ F1 World Championships. What makes this particularly impressive is that it has been able to achieve this through a sequence of regulation changes, which shows it could adapt and develop to a range of circumstances.

Tech verdict: How Mercedes struck back at Suzuka

This season is no exception, as Mercedes had to overcome advances from its rivals during a period of regulatory flux.

The 2019 progress had been stunted since the summer break, as Ferrari enjoyed a renaissance that’s challenged the Silver Arrows at circuits that it never expected to. Keen to both maintain its development trajectory over the course of the season and overturn this resurgence, Mercedes implemented a major update for the Japanese Grand Prix.

It’s important to note that while Mercedes would have been keen to make up ground on Ferrari, the development that we’ve seen from the Silver Arrows in Japan is not something that can be achieved in a short space of time, and this was always a development waypoint in their 2019 programme. Although that’s not to say that some resource had not been shifted back to this year’s project in order to refine the package further.

Click on the arrows to scroll through the photos and captions below.

Mercedes AMG F1 W10, detail front wing
Mercedes AMG F1 W10, detail front wing
1/5
The smallest of aerodynamic details can often have the most profound effect on the rest of the car, and none more so than when it’s a change made to the front wing. For the Japanese GP, Mercedes had just that: a small canard was added to the outer face of the endplate. This will not only shed a vortex from the trailing edge that will have an aerodynamic impact downstream but it will also alter the pressure gradient across the endplates surface, a key factor in yaw.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes AMG F1 W10 old bargeboard
Mercedes AMG F1 W10 old bargeboard
2/5
The development of the region ahead and around the sidepods of this generation of cars has been fierce, with teams constantly looking to find new, or old, solutions to the problems at hand. The regulation reset this year, although not heavily focused on this area, caused teams to constantly rethink their approach, with each change to a link in the aerodynamic daisy chain having an impact on the other. It’s why, when we see a change at the front of the car, as we did with Mercedes in Japan, it often coincides with alterations to the car’s midriff and the rear of the car too.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes AMG F1 W10, Japanese GP bargeboard
Mercedes AMG F1 W10, Japanese GP bargeboard
3/5
Mercedes altered almost every surface connected to the deflector array, outer forwardmost section of the floor and sidepod airflow conditioner in Japan as it continues to find aerodynamic performance from dealing with the turbulence created by the front wheel.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes AMG F1 W10, Japanese GP bargeboard
Mercedes AMG F1 W10, Japanese GP bargeboard
4/5
[1] The main vertical panel and the slat that runs across the upper surface of the sidepod previously framed the corner of the sidepod. However, in the latest update, the connection between the two was severed. [2] The leading vertical panel was one of the only carryover items in the entire assembly. [3] The team added another horizontal section of bodywork that bridged the gap between the two floor mounted deflectors. [4] The number of horizontal slats used in the middle portion of the deflector array has been increased from four to five, whilst the lowermost pair no longer extend beyond their siblings. [5] The upturned edge of the floor was reprofiled, and another arched element was added above it, which also provides an anchor point for the main vertical panel.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes AMG F1 W10 floor
Mercedes AMG F1 W10 floor
5/5
A new fin appeared on the floor beside the rear tyre (red arrow), as the team simply looks to better redirect the airflow that’s now passing down the car to that region.

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Read Also:

shares
comments
Alfa was "nowhere" in "far from normal" Japanese GP
Previous article

Alfa was "nowhere" in "far from normal" Japanese GP

Next article

F1 agrees Miami Hard Rock stadium plan for 2021

F1 agrees Miami Hard Rock stadium plan for 2021
Load comments
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Prime

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history.

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

Formula 1
May 15, 2022