Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech verdict: The Bahrain tweaks that kept Mercedes in the game

Mercedes made several changes in order to get the best from its W10 in Bahrain, which ended with a 1-2 finish. Let’s delve into the technical details and check out the most important changes that it made...

Tech verdict: The Bahrain tweaks that kept Mercedes in the game

Although Ferrari clearly had the fastest car in Bahrain, both Mercedes drivers stayed within four tenths of Charles Leclerc’s hot pace in qualifying – with Lewis Hamilton just 0.03s from pipping Sebastian Vettel to a front-row starting spot.

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Mercedes then went on to score a 1-2 finish, as Ferrari stumbled on raceday. Click on the photos below to scroll through the images of some key technical aspects...

Straked rear wing

Straked rear wing
1/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The rear wing endplates on the Mercedes W10 were altered for the second round of the championship, with the team dividing the strakes that sit on the outer bounding line into three sections, rather than two. This changes the behavior of the airflow in the region, altering the position and vorticity of the vortex shed at the wing’s tip.

Keeping everything cool

Keeping everything cool
2/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Cooling requirements for the power unit differ at each and every circuit, with the decision also complicated by the aerodynamic compromise that opening up vents on the car brings with it. For the last two seasons Mercedes have utilized a configuration that allows them to expel unwanted heat at the tail end of the halo, mitigating some of the aerodynamic inefficiencies created by the safety structure. The team ran this combined with the enlarged louvred cooling panel in Australia but altered the car’s engine cover in Bahrain to smooth out the transition, deleting the outlet.

Drum roll please

Drum roll please
3/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Not entirely new for Bahrain but certainly worth noting is the W10’s front brake drum, the design of which looks to make the most of the regulation changes made for 2019. You’ll note the deep cutout section which crosses over the face of the drum, taking airflow collected by the inlet and redistributing it for aerodynamic effect out through the wheel rim. Also note the small gridded window which allows heat generated by the discs to escape, transferring some of that heat to the wheel rim that’s in close proximity.

Asymmetric window approach

Asymmetric window approach
4/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

As we can see from this front view, the deeper crossover section is used on both sides of the car, but an asymmetric layout is favoured when taking into account the heat release window. Only featured on the right-hand side of the car (the left as we look towards it), the window is used to help with tyre temperature management due to the predominantly clockwise nature of the circuit heating the outer tyre at a different rate.

Inside the drum

Inside the drum
5/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

This shot of the brake assembly while disassembled shows how the team is utilising a piece of ducting inside the drum to collect and guide airflow down through the face of the wheel rim, altering its aerodynamic output.

 

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Bahrain GP
Drivers Valtteri Bottas , Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Matthew Somerfield
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