Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
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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.

Tech gallery: How the Mercedes W08 evolved throughout 2017
In detail
In detail
1/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.
In detail
In detail
2/73

Photo by: Mark Sutton

The serrated windscreen used by the team to reduce helmet buffeting.
Pre-season testing
Pre-season testing
3/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Early changes made to the diffuser included the segregation of the rearward reaching Gurney trims (inset).
Pre-season testing
Pre-season testing
4/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes optimised its axehead and bargeboard arrangement, segmenting the previously double element into four distinctly separate sections.
Pre-season testing
Pre-season testing
5/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

For comparison, here is the two-element axehead used previously.
Australian GP
Australian GP
6/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.
Australian GP
Australian GP
7/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The W08’s novel shark fin engine cover cooling chimney, triple-element T-wing and the squashed wastegate pipework.
Chinese GP
Chinese GP
8/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team introduced a longitudinal floor slot in China (highlighted in yellow), looking to maximise how flow moved along the floor's flank.
Chinese GP
Chinese GP
9/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes utilised these perforated Gurney tabs in order to improve the rejection of heat from the engine cover cooling outlet in China.
Chinese GP
Chinese GP
10/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.
Chinese GP
Chinese GP
11/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

A nice view of the splitter region and its various supports without all the bodywork attached.
Bahrain GP
Bahrain GP
12/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes using an open drum design in order to evacuate the heat generated under braking out of the wheel face in bulk.
Bahrain GP
Bahrain GP
13/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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.
Russian GP
Russian GP
14/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

A close-up of the larger cooling hood around the exhaust and extra cooling opened up around the upper rear wishbones.
Russian GP
Russian GP
15/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

Instructions printed on the steering wheel as a reminder of the settings that need to be applied.
Spanish GP
Spanish GP
16/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A side view of the nose cape introduced by Mercedes in Spain, the first time we’ve seen such a design utilised.
Spanish GP
Spanish GP
17/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.
Spanish GP
Spanish GP
18/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.
Spanish GP
Spanish GP
19/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.
Spanish GP
Spanish GP
20/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

The floor flap added by Mercedes in Spain (highlighted in yellow), replacing the triangular flap used in previous races (inset).
Spanish GP
Spanish GP
21/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

The three ‘r’-shaped cascades added to the bargeboards as part of a package of optimisations in Spain.
Monaco GP
Monaco GP
22/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.
Monaco GP
Monaco GP
23/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

A close-up of the front wing endplate, complete with its twisted and slotted rear section.
Monaco GP
Monaco GP
24/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

The two-tier monkey seat used by the team in combination with the high-downforce rear wing.
Canadian GP
Canadian GP
25/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The open drum brake assembly used by Mercedes in Canada helps to evacuate the heat generated under braking more quickly.
Canadian GP
Canadian GP
26/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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.
Canadian GP
Canadian GP
27/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

Seen here off the car are the louvred panels that are usually mounted alongside the driver.
Canadian GP
Canadian GP
28/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

The segmented axehead and bargeboard strakes.
Canadian GP
Canadian GP
29/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

A close-up of the floor flap on the rear quarter of the floor.
Canadian GP
Canadian GP
30/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

A close-up of the twisted and slotted endplate.
Azerbaijan GP
Azerbaijan GP
31/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes front brake assembly shows the apertures in the cake tin's upper panel used to reject heat created under braking.
Azerbaijan GP
Azerbaijan GP
32/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

From FP3 onwards in Baku, the team went to a balanced brake duct configuration.
Azerbaijan GP
Azerbaijan GP
33/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.
Azerbaijan GP
Azerbaijan GP
34/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

Mercedes trialled this lower-downforce spoon-style rear wing in Baku before reverting to a higher-downforce configuration.
Azerbaijan GP
Azerbaijan GP
35/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The higher-downforce rear wing raced by the team in Baku.
Austrian GP
Austrian GP
36/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.
Austrian GP
Austrian GP
37/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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).
Austrian GP
Austrian GP
38/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes revised its wing mirror and stalk design in Austria, placing the stalk further inboard (arrowed).
Austrian GP
Austrian GP
39/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A top-down view of the engine cover shows the cooling chimney used by Mercedes to evacuate heat.
Austrian GP
Austrian GP
40/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

A close-up of the shorter-chord third tier on the Mercedes T-wing.
British GP
British GP
41/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The rear brake and suspension assembly. Note the cluster of winglets mounted on the inner brake fence.
British GP
British GP
42/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

The floor unmounted from the car shows the detail around its front edge, including the bargeboards.
Hungarian GP
Hungarian GP
43/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

A look at the nose and the ‘cape’ solution used by Mercedes.
Hungarian GP
Hungarian GP
44/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

A close-up of the nose cape introduced in Spain. Note the curved coke bottle=style shape used to direct the airflow rearward.
Hungarian GP
Hungarian GP
45/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

On this shot of the front wing, note the small silver vortex generators atop the bridged section of the mainplane.
Hungarian GP
Hungarian GP
46/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

A close-up of the diffuser and crash structure, on which several winglets are mounted.
Hungarian GP
Hungarian GP
47/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

An unobstructed view of the rear of the car as the team hadn’t mounted the rear wing at this point.
Hungarian GP
Hungarian GP
48/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The high-downforce rear wing used by Mercedes in Hungary.
Belgian GP
Belgian GP
49/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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’.
Belgian GP
Belgian GP
50/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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.
Belgian GP
Belgian GP
51/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

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.
Belgian GP
Belgian GP
52/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

The car during build-up, showing off many of the details that normally lie hidden beneath the bodywork.
Italian GP
Italian GP
53/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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.
Singapore GP
Singapore GP
54/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The W08’s diffuser was updated in Singapore, with an additional vertical vane mounted on the upper outer corner (arrowed).
Singapore GP
Singapore GP
55/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes introduced a full-length shark fin in Singapore.
Malaysian GP
Malaysian GP
56/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The updated nose ‘cape’, which features a much broader leading edge (arrowed).
Malaysian GP
Malaysian GP
57/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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).
Malaysian GP
Malaysian GP
58/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The updated diffuser run by Mercedes in Malaysia featured two more strakes.
Japanese GP
Japanese GP
59/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

The closed-off version of the team's front brake drum.
Japanese GP
Japanese GP
60/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The W08 without the covers on shows the installation detail of the power unit and ancillary coolers.
Japanese GP
Japanese GP
61/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

A close-up of the wing mirrors, their stalks and the arched winglet ahead of them.
Japanese GP
Japanese GP
62/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

The two-tier monkey seat utilised for extra balance and more rear downforce.
United States GP
United States GP
63/73

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

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

Photo by: Sutton Images

A close-up of the winglet mounted to the ride height sensor and vertical splitter support.
United States GP
United States GP
65/73

Photo by: Sutton Images

A close-up of the floor's edge and the various aero elements in that area.
Mexican GP
Mexican GP
66/73
A great side view of the W08’s nose ‘cape’ shows the contours of the large surface.
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
67/73

Photo by: Mark Sutton

A close-up of the front brake duct with its plethora of winglets.
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
68/73

Photo by: Mark Sutton

A close-up of the W08’s bargeboards, with the elongated and aggressively outturned vanes that were reprofiled in Malaysia.
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
69/73

Photo by: Mark Sutton

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.
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
70/73

Photo by: Mark Sutton

The W08 with a high-downforce rear wing configuration and the elongated shark fin which meets the T-wing support introduced in Singapore.
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
71/73

Photo by: Mark Sutton

A close-up of Mercedes' open-ended-style endplate louvres.
Abu Dhabi GP
Abu Dhabi GP
72/73

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The access panel for the additional load sensors embedded in the bargeboards for the team to study potential changes for the 2018 car.
Post-Abu Dhabi GP test
Post-Abu Dhabi GP test
73/73

Photo by: Mark Sutton

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