Mercedes presents a series of long-awaited car upgrades in Monaco. The concept of a year and a half ago is being abandoned and the hope is that this will improve the performance of the disappointing team.
The most noticeable changes are on the side corners. This season, Mercedes stuck to the zero sidepods concept that the team presented last year. Although this was not a success last year, the team hoped for better results this year. Now that this again seems not to be the case, a different approach has been chosen.
The new tips are more in line with the reduced concept that Red Bull – and many other teams – are already considering. Unlike Red Bull, however, Mercedes’ fenders are more focused on deflecting the wind to the side, similar to Ferrari’s. This fits best with the overall design of the Mercedes car.
Related to the new sidepods is the front suspension. Mercedes has raised the bar even further. This improves the air flow in the side shell and makes the aerodynamic flow of the car more stable. This also increases the power of the whole car.
Bottom plate and back
The airflow eventually comes out of the back of the car. The modified edges of the bottom plate ensure that more air reaches the diffuser. The new exhaust there provides better airflow away from the diffuser. The rear wing has also been moved up a bit, creating more space there. All this together ensures that there is more power behind the car. Mercedes had a lot of problems at the back at the beginning of this season. The hope is that this problem will be solved further by reducing the power.
At least on paper, that’s the result of these updates. Whether it’s doing what it’s supposed to do remains to be seen this weekend. Mercedes has erred on theory against practice in the past when creating the concept of zero sidepods. However, Mercedes’ advantage this time is that the team is now following in the footsteps of many other teams. That means many parts have already been tested and improved by competitors.